Wood-Pellet Exports Boom Amid Ukraine War, Environmental Concerns

By Ryan December
The Wall Street Journal
August 8, 2022
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

The wood-pellet market is on fire. War has cut off the supply of compressed-wood pellets from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to the power plants in Western Europe that burn them instead of coal. That has put a premium on pellets from North America, especially the U.S. South. U.S. export volume has climbed steadily over the past decade. The average price before insurance and shipping costs has risen to nearly $170 a metric ton, from around $140 last year. …Enviva is building several new pellet plants in the Southern Pine Belt with the aim of doubling production capacity over the next five years. The company said it signed five, 10- and 15-year supply contracts with new customers in Germany. …Though some contend that wood-fired generation is no cleaner than coal when it comes to emissions, burning biomass counts toward renewable-energy targets under European rules. Demand was already rising when Russia invaded Ukraine, leading to bans on imports from the aggressor. [to access the full story a WSJ subscription is required]

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