April 7, 2017

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Help the US Forest Service Support the Pellet Fuels Industry

The U.S. Forest Service Wood Energy Team is compiling a suite of materials to communicate the many benefits of wood energy. The materials, and accompanying communications outreach, will highlight the agency's supporting relationship with domestic pellet producers developed through our Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013. The materials will be available for PFI and other MOU partners to use during discussions on Capitol Hill and with the media and other audiences.

One of the team's first initiatives will be to develop a handout that illustrates the many jobs in the forest products sector that are supported by bioenergy - and the many additional rural jobs that could be created if the industry and the Forest Service are properly valued.

As the Forest Service begins this project, members of the Wood Energy team are looking for input from PFI and other groups on what will help the industry communicate about wood energy. They have asked for input on data figures to explore, for instance statistics on how Forest Service dollars are spent to support bioenergy projects.

We are looking for your ideas for handouts, data and other materials created by the U.S. Forest Service that will help us make our case. If you'd like to weigh in, please be in touch with Carrie Annand at [email protected].


Government Affairs Update

Governor Perdue on Track for Confirmation 
Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's confirmation for Secretary of Agriculture is scheduled for Monday, April 24, following Congressional Easter recess. The Senate Agriculture Committee cleared him with a voice vote last week and he is expected to receive confirmation by the full Senate. 

Carbon Tax Floated by Trump Administration 
This week, the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is considering proposing a carbon tax, whereby emitters of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would pay a per-ton tax. Assuming that carbon accounting for biomass would be done on a life cycle basis, a carbon tax could promote biomass power and thermal producers by making fossil fuels more expensive. If the administration decides to formally propose the carbon tax, it would likely be part of a larger tax reform package.

Save the Date for PFI's Annual Conference - July 23-25 at the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Stowe, VT

It's not too early to start planning to attend the PFI Annual Conference, July 23-25 in Stowe, Vermont! Learn about key industry trends this summer while networking with fellow pellet fuels manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, industry experts and others.

We are currently developing the program, details of which will be available soon. Registration will be open soon for our annual event.

We'll be updating PFI's website and including items in the Pellet Wire as more information becomes available.

2017 PFI Sponsorship & Advertising Opportunities 

PFI invites you to become a 2017 sponsor! This year, we have developed a new, streamlined sponsorship program that will create multiple opportunities for your company in 2017. Your company will have great visibility at PFI events, on the PFI website, and in the PFI newsletter, amongst other benefits.

The 2017 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 includes over 100 member companies, and our electronic newsletter is sent to over 3,500 people every week. Now is the time to become a sponsor of this organization. Visit our website to explore how you can become involved.

Follow and Connect With Us on Social Media!

We urge all PFI members to engage with us on social media. By joining PFI in being visible and active on social media, we can make our voices heard more loudly and by many more audiences.

Follow us on Twitter: @PelletFuel
Friend us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pfipellets
Link with us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/pellet-fuels-institute

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 at [email protected] 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 

July 23-25, 2017: PFI Annual Conference

Connect with PFI

PFI Newsletter
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

Logging Industry Fights to Keep Biomass Projects Going
WDIO - Minnesota

The biomass boilers in Virginia and Hibbing, known together as the Laurentian Energy Authority, have been running for 10 years now. And the contract to keep them going is for a total of 20 years. Xcel Energy was granted the ability to store more nuclear waste at their Prairie Island facility, and in exchange, was to buy renewable energy from the biomass projects.

But Xcel and others are looking at possibly shortening that contract, as the cost per megawatt of biomass is now four times the cost of natural gas. That means customers are paying more for energy.

Range lawmakers have introduced bills about shortening the contract, in part, to help the Laurentian Energy Authority avoid a $10 million dollar penalty.

Read the Full Article

Drax to Acquire Central Louisiana Pellet Company
Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Drax Biomass-the wood pellet manufacturing company that operates two huge white pellet storage domes at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, as well as two other pellet production facilities in the area-has been selected as the winning bidder for the acquisition of Louisiana Pellets out of bankruptcy.

The Urania-based company filed for Chapter 11 in early 2016 and recently idled production. The proposed acquisition comes after a multi-week competitive bidding process, which culminated in an auction on March 30, and will enable Drax Biomass to more than double its pellet production capacity. Louisiana Pellets has a production capacity of more than 450,000 metric tons per year.

A Drax Biomass official says having the storage, handling and transit facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, as well as other manufacturing facilities in Bastrop and Gloster, Mississippi, were key factors in the company's decision to pursue the acquisition of Louisiana Pellets. The deal, financial details of which were not disclosed, will mean additional business for the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, he adds.

Read the Full Article

How One Power Plant is Turning Away from Coal to Embrace Wood Pellets and Straw
CNBC - Denmark

Something of a biomass revolution is taking place in Denmark. Earlier this year Danish energy company, DONG Energy, announced it would stop "all use of coal" by 2023 and look to focus on sustainable biomass instead.

At the Avedøre Power Station, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, a transformation has taken place: between 2015 and 2016 Avedøre 1, one of its power station units, was converted to use wood pellets rather than coal.

The Avedøre 2 unit uses natural gas, oil, straw and wood pellets. DONG Energy says the biomass system has a capacity of 45 megawatts and is able to take 25 tonnes of straw every hour.

Read the Full Article


Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 206.209.5277