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
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
Any startup has to have a clear go –to-market strategy from the beginning. Similarly, any data science project has to have a go to production strategy from its first days, so it could go beyond proof-of-concept. Machine learning and artificial intelligence in production would result in hundreds of training pipelines and machine learning models that are continuously revised by teams of data scientists and seamlessly connected with web applications for tenants and users.
IT organizations are moving to the cloud in hopes to approve efficiency, increase agility and save money. Migrating workloads might seem like a simple task, but what many businesses don’t realize is that application migration criteria differs across organizations, making it difficult for architects to arrive at an accurate TCO number. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO of CloudHealth Technologies, will offer a systematic approach to understanding the TCO of a cloud application...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
The goal of Continuous Testing is to shift testing left to find defects earlier and release software faster. This can be achieved by integrating a set of open source functional and performance testing tools in the early stages of your software delivery lifecycle. There is one process that binds all application delivery stages together into one well-orchestrated machine: Continuous Testing. Continuous Testing is the conveyer belt between the Software Factory and production stages. Artifacts are m...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, d...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...