Welcome!

News Feed Item

Wood Pellets a Hot Commodity Across U.S.

Produced by BBI International, Pellets to Be Featured at the International Biomass Conference & Expo and Co-Located Pellet Supply Chain Summit

ORLANDO, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 02/19/14 -- The wallets of many U.S. homeowners using propane or heating oil as a fuel source have likely taken a big hit this winter, due to unusually cold temperatures, compliments of the polar vortex, and frequent storms.

Those enjoying cord wood or pellet heat, however, have a leg up on the frigid season. Data from the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning indicates that wood pellets are running $25.50 cheaper per MMBtu than propane and $13.71 cheaper per MMBtu than heating oil, and in some parts of the country such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, propane prices have doubled in the last several months, reaching close to $5 per gallon in some areas.

Colder weather means increased demand for pellets, and several Northeast producers report they're already sold out for the winter. Mark Wilson, president of New England Wood Pellet, said that's the case for his company, which operates three manufacturing plants in Jaffrey, N.H., and Schuyler and Deposit, N.Y., with a combined plant capacity of over 250,000 tons per year.

Wilson, who recently moved from chief operating officer to president after founder Steve Walker's resignation, says in short, the uptick in demand has meant many more phone calls. "We're sold out last year, and we are again this year," he says, adding that it has not increased volume at NEWP's plants, because each is already at capacity.

However, people are looking for more product, he adds. "I've heard competitors are sold out this year, too."

While that may be the case, a long-term shortage -- meaning pellets are unattainable or difficult for consumers to find -- is unlikely, in Wilson's opinion. "The reason for that is because mass merchants that have taken a significant amount of market share are willing to buy pellets from other parts of the country and bring them into the region," he says.

That's exactly the case, according to Chris Sharron, president of West Oregon Wood Products, who says there appears to be spot shortages occurring across the country. "We are getting calls from major retailers who are looking for supply to go into Midwest/Northeast markets," he says.

The West has seen excess supply and production relative to demand for a number of years, according to Sharron, so this may be an opportunity to alleviate that issue. "These blips of cooler weather are welcomed, but they're not causing any challenges," he says, adding the active export market may be one reason some producers have not curtailed an amount of production capacity, as well as pellets sold for remediation purposes in oil sands operations.

Another reason for increased pellet demand is more boiler heating system installations, which have been slow but steady in recent years, but state-initiated incentives are helping facilitate more of them at a quicker rate. For example, Efficiency Maine recently lifted its $250,000 boiler rebate program cap, thus allowing all homeowners who qualify to obtain a $5,000 rebate for installation of a bulk-delivered pellet boiler system.

Dutch Dresser, president of Maine Energy Systems, says business has grown steadily over the last six years. "Our business has grown slowly but steadily [over that period]. This winter's combination of cold temperatures, soaring fossil fuel prices, and forward-looking incentive programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have changed the profile of that growth curve remarkably."

Considering the pattern of colder and longer winters -- and the number of northeastern pellet boiler system installations in the region growing -- some producers may cautiously up production come spring to take advantage of a sellout opportunity next season.

That doesn't mean expansion projects, however.

"Most haven't been producing at nameplate capacity because of working capital needs," Wilson says. "Working capital is required to build inventory during the spring and summer months, so I don't believe all Northeast producers are running at full capacity during those seasons. There is room to grow, but they just need to be able to obtain that working capital."

The hot topic of pellets is one of the program tracks available to attendees at the International Biomass Conference & Expo, taking place March 24-26 in Orlando, FL. You can view the online agenda at www.BiomassConference.com.

The conference will also explore the contributions of each stakeholder group along the supply chain and the challenges they'll have to overcome as production and export capacity ramps up during a preconference seminar titled Pellet Supply Chain Summit. To learn more visit www.BiomassConference.com

About BBI International:
Founded in 1995, BBI International produces globally recognized bioenergy events and trade magazines. In addition to the International Biomass Conference & Expo and its allied regional events, BBI owns and operates the largest, longest-running ethanol conference in the world -- the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) -- and the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo. The company publishes Biomass Magazine, Ethanol Producer Magazine, Pellet Mill Magazine, and Biodiesel Magazine, as well as a number of ancillary products including maps, directories, e-newsletters and other web-based industry resources.

Contact Info:
John Nelson
866-746-8385
Email Contact

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, will discuss using predictive analytics to ...
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, will discuss how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved effi...
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
The principles behind DevOps are not new - for decades people have been automating system administration and decreasing the time to deploy apps and perform other management tasks. However, only recently did we see the tools and the will necessary to share the benefits and power of automation with a wider circle of people. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bernard Sanders, Chief Technology Officer at CloudBolt Software, explored the latest tools including Puppet, Chef, Docker, and CMPs needed to...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
The cloud competition for database hosts is fierce. How do you evaluate a cloud provider for your database platform? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Chris Presley, a Solutions Architect at Pythian, will give users a checklist of considerations when choosing a provider. Chris Presley is a Solutions Architect at Pythian. He loves order – making him a premier Microsoft SQL Server expert. Not only has he programmed and administered SQL Server, but he has also shared his expertise and passion w...