Lignetics: Manufacturer of Premium Wood Pellets, Pres-to-Logs® Fire Logs, and Fire Starters

Welcome to Lignetics' blog where we will be posting current information about the wood pellet, fire log, and fire starter industry. We welcome your comments and additions as we develop what we hope will be an up-to-date information center on all developments concerning wood pellets and fire logs.
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From Biomass Magazine

By Tim Portz

The Biomass Magazine and Pellet Mill Magazine team prides itself on nearly constant communication with industry professionals. We set goals. We track our progress towards those goals. We use that outreach to produce stories, webinars, conference panels and blogs. We do this because we recognize that the industry’s news is all “out there”, amongst all of you.

This point was reiterated and underscored during a conversation I had with Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. While writing a feature for the September/October issue of Pellet Mill Magazine I learned that the WPAC had successfully made a case to add wood pellets to a list of cargoes exempted from a rule that required the vessels carrying them to have inert gas fire protection system. For more on that, I urge you to read the feature when the issue shows up in your mailbox.

Whenever I’m interviewing someone like Gordon about something specific, I always end the conversation by asking a simple catch-all question. “What else has been going on?” Gordon’s response had me scribbling and shaking my head in disbelief that I had not yet heard about the issue he was outlining for me.

For now, the Canadian-Korea pellet trade is at a stand-still and really has been since this spring. The stoppage can be traced back by a decision by the Korean government to require a either FSC or PEFC chain-of-custody certification for all bids submitted to wood pellet tenders (basically an RFP). This caused a number of reactions including the issuance, Gordon tells me, of certificates that were later deemed to be fraudulent by some Vietnamese pellet producers (currently the largest supplier of wood pellets to Korea).

In reaction the Korean government, via the Korea Forest Service and the Korean Forest Promotion Institute eliminated this chain-of-custody requirement and replaced it with a require for government-issued and notarized documentation for all the fiber that went into the manufacturing of a given load of pellets. This documentation has to be completed for each load or container that contains pellets. While the administrative burden alone makes this situation untenable, the rotten cherry on top is that because Canada is not a member country of something called the Apostille Convention, they are not even legally able to provide this kind of documentation.

The bottom line, written in bold on a memorandum Murray sent to his members is this. This means that Canada presently has no way to legally ship wood pellets to South Korea.

More information about this situation can be gleaned from a PowerPoint presentation available on the WPAC website. The slides supported a presentation that Murray gave at the BC-Korea Trade and Investment Forum earlier this summer.

From what I gather, this issue is top of mind for Gordon. He’s been meeting with Korean officials this summer, getting the Canadian government as well as the Sustainable Biomass Partnership involved, and will be traveling there again this month. As the second largest export market for Canadian pellets, Murray’s urgency is understandable.

Serendipitously the final issue in the 2015 calendar for Pellet Mill Magazine focuses entirely on Asian production and consumption. I’d say we’ve found our cover story.

Read the original here.

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From Biomass Magazine
By Renewable Energy Vermont

Through a generous opportunity, Vermonters now have a short-time frame before the new year to capitalize on a fantastic incentive offering that helps them save money, while supporting Vermont jobs and sustainable forests, while making sure they stay warm this winter.

Vermonters can get up to $5,500 to help switch from fossil fuel to local wood heating. Cash incentives are available from the Clean Energy Development Fund and Efficiency Vermont. Renewable Energy Vermont and the Renewable Energy Resource Center have partnered to help promote the incentives.

“We’ve been very happy with our decision to switch to a wood pellet boiler. Not only do we save money every year on our fuel bill, but we also love the fact that we’re helping to keep forests intact and logging jobs going,” says Mark Bushnell of Middlesex.

Vermonters who make the switch to wood pellet fuel typically save $1,500 annually when compared to oil and propane fuel heating options. And for those who are used to whole-home heating through their traditional boiler, the wood pellet boiler keeps it simple and complete. Advanced wood pellet boilers are fully automatic, so there’s no work for the home or business owner.

“I heated my home for years with a standard wood stove, but I’m happier with my wood pellet boiler. The new boiler is much more efficient and better for the environment because it is cleaner burning. And it feels great to be off fossil fuels,” says Susan Clark of Middlesex.

Wood pellet boilers, though not well known in the United States, are the primary way of heating in some parts of the world, including Upper Austria where more than 40,000 homes and businesses heat with wood from their background in an easy, seamless way. In fact, the State of Vermont and Upper Austria are involved in a Sister Statehood Agreement to help learning across both sides of the Atlantic to increase the uptake of this sustainable, local heating option.

“For many years, Vermont has been a national leader in the use of modern wood heating systems in large buildings like schools, office buildings, and apartment buildings. With pellets now available in bulk using specialized delivery trucks that conveniently blow pellets into a fuel bin and heating systems that are fully-automated, many homeowners and small businesses are also making the switch from oil and propane,” said Adam Sherman of the Biomass Energy Resource Center.

Read the original here. http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/12349/wood-pellet-boiler-rebates-available-in-vermont

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From Biomass Magazine
By USDA Farm Service Agency

On Aug. 19, USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini announced that enrollment has begun for farmers and forest landowners seeking financial assistance for growing new sources of biomass for energy or biobased products within designated projects areas. The funds are available from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Biomass energy facilities or groups of producers may submit proposals for new BCAP project areas. Proposals will be accepted on www.grants.gov through Nov. 6. USDA will also allocate $7.7 million towards four existing BCAP project areas in New York, North Carolina, Ohio/Pennsylvania and Kansas/Oklahoma, targeting the establishment of an additional 10,500 acres of shrub willow, giant miscanthus, and switchgrass for energy. Project area sponsors include Chemtex International, Aloterra Energy LLC, Abengoa Biomass LLC and ReEnergy Holdings LLC. Farmers and forest landowners may enroll for biomass establishment and maintenance payments for these four sites through Sept. 25.

In June, USDA began accepting applications from foresters and farmers seeking financial assistance for removing biomass residues from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities; the deadline for those applications is Sept. 4. The retrieval payments are provided at a cost-share match of $1 for $1 up to $20 per dry ton with eligible crops including corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop, and deliveries to the facilities can continue until Dec. 11.

The 2014 Farm Bill authorizes funding each year for the program to assist with the establishment and delivery of biomass for energy or biobased products. To date, BCAP has provided incentives for producers across more than 48,000 acres in 71 counties and 11 different project areas. For more information on the program or to enroll in updates, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap or contact your local FSA county office. To find your nearest FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

Read the original here.

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From Platts McGraw Hill Financial

Canada exported 781,083 mt of wood pellets in the first half of 2015, nudging up 1% on the year-earlier period, as increased deliveries to the UK offset declines in shipments from Italy and South Korea, according to Statistics Canada data Monday.

The country's H1 pellet exports to the UK -- Canada's largest customer for the fuel -- were 587,205 mt, up 26% on the year.

Exports to Italy in the six-month period declined 62% on the year to 42,799 while those to South Korea fell 47% to 33,221 mt.

Sources said weak demand in the residential heating pellet market explained the on-year fall in Italian deliveries, while the drop in Canadian shipments of industrial pellets to South Korea was attributed to stiffer competition from local Asian suppliers such as Vietnam and Malaysia.

The US remained the second-largest destination for Canadian pellets, taking delivery of 90,288 mt in H1, up from 87,945 mt in the corresponding 2014 period.

Total Canadian pellet exports in June were 128,403, 5% higher on the year but 8% lower than May. Of this amount, 97,326 mt were shipped to the UK, up 39% on a year earlier but 12% lower than May.

Read the original here.

 

 

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