PFI's Weekly Newsletter



January 12, 2018

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

A Note from Tim Portz, PFI's Executive Director


Members of the Pellet Fuels Institute and friends of the industry, Happy New Year.

I am pleased that many of the pellet producing and consuming regions in the United States have been experiencing an honest to goodness winter thus far in the 2017-18 heating season. After a handful of mediocre winters or regionally isolated winters, this cold is very welcome indeed.

My name is Tim Portz and on January 2nd I officially began my tenure as the executive director of the Pellet Fuels Institute. I'm thrilled to be here and excited to get to work.

For the past nine years, I served as the executive editor of Biomass Magazine and Pellet Mill Magazine as well as the vice president of content; all at BBI International. In addition to reporting on the broader biomass sector including the manufacturing of wood pellets for residential heat, I organized the International Biomass Conference & Expo, North America's largest biomass-to-energy conference. I mention all of this as a way to highlight that I've been an industry observer and reporter for nearly a decade. I've been to pellet plants all across this country and have met many of you during my travels. The relationships I have in this industry are what invigorate me and get me up in the morning. This is a great industry filled with incredible people.

I'm drawn to the wood pellet industry for a number of reasons. First, wood pellet manufacturers make things. I'm a big fan of American manufacturing and feel strongly that we need to celebrate and advocate for the manufacturing infrastructure we have left in this country. Second, I'm a firm believer that a strong and robust forest products sector is the single best way to guarantee the perpetuation of our forests. Finally, I believe that the explosion in the use of fossil fuels is changing our planet and that an aggressive return to energy sources that are connected to biogenic materials instead of fossil materials is imperative. 

Over the course of the next several months, my goal is to listen to as many of you as is practical. I'll be calling board members, members, non-members, and the vendor community that services this organization to ask them why they belong to the PFI, why they don't, and what they'd like to see from the organization moving forward.

I'm here to serve this industry and, hopefully, move it appreciably forward. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to learning about you, your business, and how you feel the Pellet Fuels Institute can best serve you. 

Tim Portz, Executive Director of PFI | [email protected]

Nominate Your Facility to Be Featured in PFI's Promotional Video by Jan. 19th

In 2018, Pellet Fuels Institute will be creating a short promotional video about the pellet fuels industry, for use on the PFI website as well as by any PFI member. The Board has approved a budget, and the promotions committee will be supervising the filming and production. The theme of the video will be how pellets are produced, and how they contribute to rural American communities and sustainable forest management. It will also emphasize the benefits of pellet heating over other alternatives like heating oil.

So this is where you come in: we need nominations for a pellet production facility to feature in the video! We've received some great applications so far, but there's still time to nominate your facility. The video will focus on one region of the country, centered on a pellet producer but also looking at the businesses that supply the raw materials, as well as retailers and end users who purchase the finished product.

If you'd like to nominate a facility to be featured in the PFI video, please send an email to [email protected] with "PFI Video Nomination" in the subject line. Tell us about your facility and why it would be a good "poster child" for the pellet fuels industry. Please include the name, location, size and age of pellet production facility, and names of suppliers and retailers that you work with nearby. The promotions committee will announce the location of the video in January after reviewing the applications. Please reach out to Carrie Annand with any questions.

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in January and Reap the Rewards

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI in 2018! Sponsorship at all levels brings many perks, along with exposure for your company to the pellet fuels industry. By signing up to sponsor the association early in 2018, you will reap the benefits throughout the coming year.

The 2018 sponsorship packages include benefits such as:

  • PFI Annual Conference registrations
  • Breakfast & Biomass registrations
  • Company logo listed on the PFI website
  • 10x10 booth at the PFI Annual Conference
  • Weekly newsletter advertising
  • Website advertising
  • And more!

PFI's membership list includes more than 100 companies, and the Pellet Wire, our electronic newsletter, is sent to close to 2,000 subscribers every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

We Need Your Input for PFI's 2018 Events

Are there any topics that you'd like to see addressed at Breakfast & Biomass or at PFI's Annual Conference next year? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers and suggest panels, experts, themes, and ideas. The Conference Committee wants to be sure to reflect the preferences and needs of PFI membership as much as possible. 

Be sure to check our updated online calendar with information on many events happening during the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. Most importantly, mark your calendars for next year's PFI events! 

Breakfast & Biomass at the HPB Expo in Nashville, TN - March 8-10, 2018

PFI Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC - June 24-26, 2018 

If our calendar is missing any events that you're planning to attend, please send an email to Carrie Annand

Follow PFI on Facebook and Connect with Us on LinkedIn! 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Carrie Annand news or other ideas to post on LinkedIn.

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information. 

Upcoming Industry Events

March 8, 2018: HPB Expo

March 9, 2018: 2018 PFI Breakfast & Biomass

March 20, 2018: International Mass Timber Conference

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

Connect with PFI
Join PFI

Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Industry News

A Growing Opportunity for the Bio-Products Sector  
Canadian Biomass

If the past few years have shown us anything, it's that there is tremendous opportunity for the biomass industry in Canada, specifically in Atlantic Canada. In thinking of Atlantic Canada, thoughts of our hospitality, friendliness, seafood, and bitterly cold winters might spring to mind. But, with these sweeping winds comes opportunity for growth in biomass-based industries, especially those that have been traditionally under-realized.

With sweeping legislation aimed to come into play in July 2018, fulfilling an election promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada will be the first large industrialized nation with a broad system permitting recreational as well as medical use of marijuana. What does that have to do with biomass you ask? It's a case of not seeing the forest for the trees or in this case, missing the greater opportunity of cannabis by only focusing on recreational marijuana. The real opportunity is about understanding the entire cannabis value chain, from crop science to health research and all the high-value product development opportunities along the way.
One region that has taken the lead on defining its own future related to cannabis is the province of New Brunswick. New Brunswick is typically known for its traditional sectors including agriculture, forestry and fisheries. It is often lovingly referred to as the "Fish and Chips" capital of Canada. With provincial strengths in smart grid, regional energy generation and distribution, a cluster of water technologies, underutilized and accessible agricultural land (fewer than five per cent in production), and a robust research community that covers the province geographically and spans numerous disciplines, it is not a stretch to see why the province has taken the lead in developing the North American cannabis market.

Read Full Article

UK Confirms Plan to Phase Out Unabated Coal Generation by 2025
Biomass Magazine 

The U.K. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has confirmed how it intends to phase-out unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025. In response to the news, the U.K. Renewable Energy Association is calling on the government to support additional coal-to-biomass conversions.

In November 2016, the BEIS opened a public consultation on its proposals to end unabated coal generation in Great Britain by 2025. The consultation closed in February 2017 and resulted in 5,939 responses. In September 2017, the U.K. prime minister confirmed that the government would proceed with action to regulate the closure of unabated coal power generation. On Jan. 5, the BEIS published a document that provides the government's response to the consultation, acts as a statement of policy on how it intends to put the 2025 closure into effect, and sets out the government's intended next steps.

Read Full Article

Questions As US Pellet Makers Expand Production

The wood pellet fuel industry is growing in the United States. The largest chip mills across the South are gobbling up hardwood forests to meet demand for overseas customers.

Wood Pellets are big business. U.S. companies send almost a billion dollars worth of wood pellets to the European Union, which uses them to power energy plants. But the appetite overseas for wood pellets has conservationists in the U.S. worried about our forests. Arkansas Public Media's Jacqueline Froelich reports.

Read Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute

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