Canadian Pellets Hold Certification Advantage

While the growing pellet industry in the U.S. south has some labor and logistical advantages, producers in Canada hold a significant edge in third-party certification. And according to RISI associate bioenergy economist Seth Walker, U.S. pellet exporters will have a hard time closing that gap any time soon. This was among the market forecasts delegates […]

While the growing pellet industry in the U.S. south has some labor and logistical advantages, producers in Canada hold a significant edge in third-party certification. And according to RISI associate bioenergy economist Seth Walker, U.S. pellet exporters will have a hard time closing that gap any time soon.

This was among the market forecasts delegates at the first Canadian Wood Pellet Heating Conference heard this morning in a packed session on markets and trends. The conference is presented by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) and the Quebec Wood Export Bureau and runs from February 27 to March 1. It has drawn over 100 attendees interested in promoting the domestic pellet heating market.

Walker explained to delegates that U.S. producers draw much of their fiber from small, private woodlot owners. With almost 60% of the supply coming from timberland owners, achieving certification of a significant volume of export pellets is a major challenge. “Currently this is not an issue, but there is talk of EU power generators demanding certified product for as much as 70% of their fuel supply. In that case, Canada would have a significant advantage.”

That advantage stems from the fact that upwards of 60% of the Canadian forest products value chain is already certified to recognized standards such as CSA, FSC and SFI. “Many of the smaller suppliers in the U.S. do not deal in enough volume to make certification a viable option – it’s not worth it.”

From Canadian Biomass: http://www.canadianbiomassmagazine.ca/content/view/4000/57/

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