BEDFORD, MA , March 17, 2014 (Viewpoint) -
US wood pellet producers exported nearly 3 million tons of pellets in 2013, a 48% increase from 2012, and 14% higher than what was projected in RISI's 2013 North American Bioenergy 5-Year Forecast. While the main market for wood pellet exports remains the European industrial market, exports to heating markets in Europe, and emerging markets in Asia, added to the growth of the industry.
Enviva continued their strong growth and emerged as North America's biggest wood pellet exporter this year, shipping more than 800,000 tonnes (Figure 1). The rest of the "big four," Georgia Biomass, Green Circle and Fram Renewables, also shipped significant volumes. Newcomer to the market German Pellets shipped 175,000 tonnes of pellets to Europe, a combination of volume produced at their new facility in Texas and excess capacity purchased from other producers in the gulf region. Westervelt Renewable Energy started their Aliceville, Alabama, plant this year and shipped approximately 75,000 tonnes out of the Port of Mobile. An additional 300,000 tonnes was shipped by other producers out of Savannah/Brunswick, Mobile and Norfolk, and just 30,000 tonnes were exported from ports outside of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast.
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This article originally appeared on woodbiomass.com: RISI VIEWPOINT: Wood pellet markets exceed expectations – 2013 wrap-up