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Nnfcc market review feedstocks issue nineteen october 2013


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A round up of news from the feedstock sector.

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Nnfcc market review feedstocks issue nineteen october 2013

  1. 1. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 1 of 8 Feedstocks Highlights Page 2 Land use Page 2 Wood Page 4 Crops Page 6 Waste Page 7 Events Page 8 Feedstock Prices NNFCC Market Review Issue Nineteen, October 2013 ach month we review the latest announcements and news from across the global crops, wood and wastes industries that supply bio-based markets. This service is exclusively for our members. Foreword Welcome to the October 2013 issue of our market review for biomass feedstocks. This month, a working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its contribution towards the 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change, due to be published in October 2014. The report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, highlights the gravity of climate change and concludes that we can be 95% certain that the "human influence on climate caused more than half the observed increase in global average surface temperatures from 1951-2010." It therefore remains imperative that any renewable form of energy demonstrates significant emission savings on fossil fuel comparators. There has been much discussion in the UK over the true carbon benefits of bioenergy this last year following the release of a damning report by the RSPB, FOE and Greenpeace entitled Dirtier than coal? The report highlighted that using biomass in place of coal could increase carbon emissions by at least 49% over a 40 year period. However, a report published this month by a collaboration of North American pellet and European bioenergy associations has clarified that such studies (which conclude that bioenergy offers little value in reducing carbon emissions) often use unrealistic assumptions over forest management practices (e.g. use of whole trees for bioenergy) which would correspond to the delivery of poor economic returns. When assuming that forests are managed efficiently, the report concludes that large carbon savings can be achieved following a short carbon payback period of just 3 years. The findings indicate that bioenergy can still play an important role in decarbonising the energy industry and mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Read on for all the latest sector news. E
  2. 2. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 2 of 8 Land use One billion acres of abandoned cropland estimated to be available for bioenergy production Source: FWI One billion acres of abandoned cropland around the world could provide sustainable energy storage, according to a new study that promotes biomass as a key player in sustainable energy development. Using these lands for energy crops, instead of converting existing croplands or clearing new land, avoids competition with food production and preserves carbon-storing forests needed to mitigate climate change. The study, published by the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, estimates the global extent of abandoned crop and pastureland and calculated their potential for sustainable bioenergy production from historical land-use data, satellite imaging and ecosystem models. The study lists three broad categories of crops that have potential for bioenergy: food crops, local native plants and special bioenergy crops such as switchgrass or elephant grass. Using a wide range of biomass yields and conversion efficiencies, potential bioenergy production has an upper-limit of 5%-30% of the current US primary energy demand, according to the study. The largest potential for production is in the US, followed by Brazil and Australia—all of which have extensive areas of abandoned crop and pasture lands. Within the US, the east and mid-west have the greatest potential. Click here for more information. Wood Electricity from wood pellets yields quick carbon savings according to new report A new report prepared by the European Biomass Association, BC Bioenergy Network, U.S. Industrial Wood Pellet Association and Wood Pellet Association of Canada says wood pellets imported to Europe from the Southeast U.S. and British Columbia, Canada, for electricity production have immediate or very rapid contribution to climate change mitigation. The report, “Forest Sustainability and Carbon Balance of EU Importation of North American Forest Biomass for Bioenergy Production”, states that there are fundamental flaws in prominent studies that have found forest- based bioenergy to be associated with long- term carbon deficits and long carbon repayment periods. Specifically, those studies are generally based on modeling assumptions that do not correspond with current and expected production and are therefore not representative of actual industry practices. A central finding of this study is that when realistic assumptions are applied, production of energy from woody biomass results in carbon debt and foregone sequestration that are very small compared to the substantial carbon savings that are achieved over time. The report further concludes that there is a critical difference between a small and temporary “carbon debt,” when one might exist, and the permanent fossil carbon emissions savings achieved by use of bioenergy rather than fossil fuels. Click here for more information.
  3. 3. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 3 of 8 Impact of climate change on forests requires early action Forest managers are encouraged to take early action in response to climate change, Source: FAO Early action and more investments are needed to respond to the threats of climate change on the world's forests. It will probably cost less to adjust forest management strategies immediately to the impacts of climate change than to react to the aftermath of climate-inflicted damage, FAO said in its new Climate change guidelines for forest managers. Early action will also help to improve the livelihoods and food security of local communities. Decreased forest ecosystem services, especially water-cycle regulation, soil protection and the conservation of biodiversity, may affect millions of people in rural areas, who use forests for food, fuel, timber, medicines and income. The document provides guidance on how to identify, assess and prioritize options for adjusting forest management practices in response to climate change. Click here for more information. Canadian pellet production, consumption grows rapidly An annual Canadian bioenergy report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Information Network provides an overview of the rapidly expanding Canadian pellet industry. Citing data provided by the Canadian Wood Pellet Association, the report notes that Canada was home to 42 pellet plants in 2012, with a combined capacity of 3 million metric tons. Approximately 65 percent of that capacity is located in British Columbia. In 2010, the country had only 33 plants with a combined production capacity of 2 million tons. Capacity is expected to reach 46 plants and 3.7 million tons this year. Canadian pellet producers have utilized approximately 66 percent of capacity in recent years, producing 2 million tons of pellets in 2012. Production is expected to reach 2.5 million tons this year, and increase to 3.2 million metric tons in 2014. Last year, Canadian producers exported 1.4 million metric tons of pellets. Exports are expected to increase to 1.7 million tons this year, and 2.2 million metric tons next year. Domestic consumption of pellets in Canada has also increased in recent years, rising from 65,000 metric tons in 2011 to 233,000 metric tons last year. Consumption is expected to reach 690,000 metric tons by next year. Click here for more information. Stobart wins new biomass contract The Western Bioenergy biomass plant in Port Talbot, Source: Lets Recycle Stobart Biomass has signed a 15-year feedstock contract for the 14.7MW Western Bioenergy Limited biomass facility in South Wales, which will see a ‘significant’ increase in the amount of waste wood processed at the plant. According to Stobart,around 150,000 tonnes of virgin and waste wood will be provided by
  4. 4. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 4 of 8 Stobart under the contract the contract. Initially, a mix of 80% virgin wood and 20% grade A recycled wood will be supplied, moving to 57% and 43% respectively following planned upgrades to the plant, which are due to begin in summer 2014. The biomass fuel company, a subsidiary of Stobart Group, will supply around 50% of the feedstock itself and manage and process the remainder, which will be supplied by an unnamed third party. At present, Western Bionergy gives the Forestry Commission as the largest single supplier to the plant. Furthermore, Stobart Group’s estates division has invested £800,000 to take a ‘small’ stake in the Port Talbot plant, which has just been acquired by Green Investment Bank (GIB)’s fund, Greensphere Capital LLP. Click here for more information. Pellet facility at North Carolina port approved Port of Morehead City, Source: Port Strategy North Carolina's Council of State has approved a 20-year agreement between the North Carolina State Ports Authority and WoodFuels L.L.C. concerning the construction of a wood pellet export facility at the Port of Morehead City. According to the pact's terms, WoodFuels would finance and build a $25 million export facility at the port to receive, store and load wood pellets for export to Europe, where the material would be used as a renewable energy source. The facility would receive the first shipment of pellets in late 2014. The development is expected to generate annual revenue from $1.2 million to $2 million, and provide $840,000 that could be reinvested into the Port of Morehead City each year. Earlier this year, the authority completed a deal with Enviva Holdings L.P. to construct and operate a similar facility at the Port of Wilmington by early 2015. Click here for more information. Crops US corn sales fall most since ’75 as farmers harvest crop The biggest fall in demand for US corn since 1975 in the past year has left a bigger-than- forecast surplus stacked in silos just as farmers begin reaping what the government says will be the world’s largest-ever crop. Domestic consumption and exports fell a combined 10 percent in the year ending August 31, government data show. Total supply after the harvest starts this month will rise 24 percent to 14.5 billion bushels (369 million metric tons) as fields recover from last year’s drought, according to the average of 28 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts say corn will drop to $4.25 a bushel in three months, or 6.1 percent below current price. The U.S. will reap 28 percent more corn this season, doubling inventories before next year’s harvest after losing market share to shippers in Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine. Global supply is surging after prices reached a record $8.29 in 2012 and futures are heading for the biggest annual drop in at least five decades. Cheaper grain is boosting profit for bioethanol producers such as Archer- Daniels-Midland Co. Click here for more information.
  5. 5. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 5 of 8 Global hunger down, but millions still chronically hungry Some 842 million people, or roughly one in eight, suffered from chronic hunger in 2011- 13, not getting enough food to lead active and healthy lives according to a report released by the UN food agencies. The number is down from 868 million reported for the 2010-12 period, according to the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI 2013), published every year by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The vast majority of hungry people live in developing regions, while 15.7 million live in developed countries. Continued economic growth in developing countries has improved incomes and access to food. Recent pick-up in agricultural productivity growth, supported by increased public investment and renewed interest of private investors in agriculture, has improved food availability. In addition, in some countries, remittances from migrants are playing a role in reducing poverty, leading to better diets and progress in food security. They can also contribute to boosting productive investments by smallholder farmers. The report underlines that economic growth is key for progress in hunger reduction. But growth may not lead to more and better jobs and incomes for all, unless policies specifically target the poor, especially those in rural areas. Click here for more information. IFAD and FAO target small-scale agricultural projects facing challenges The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have launched a new joint project to help developing countries, particularly fragile states, manage public investments in small- scale agriculture more effectively. The UN food agencies will co-finance the $2.6 million initiative focusing on countries where a lack of strong national governance means development projects can face serious challenges in delivering results. IFAD's Executive Board approved a $2 million grant for the project in September 2013, while FAO and participating countries will each add another $300, 000 to the initiative. Up to 15 projects in ten countries will be targeted over a two-year period, with priority given to projects that are already under way but that are encountering difficulties. FAO regularly works with its sister agency through the FAO-IFAD Cooperative Programme, which has seen over 300 joint operations worth almost $9 billion between 1977 and 2012. Click here for more information. Egypt says biofuel use should be evaluated amid food shortages The use of grain and oilseed crops to make biofuels should be “looked at in great depth,” as countries face food shortages and high prices, Egypt’s minister for agriculture and land reclamation, Aymane Farid Abu Hadid
  6. 6. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 6 of 8 said through a translator during a webcast of a United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization meeting earlier this month. Aymane Farid Abu Hadid continued: “The problem of the increase of food prices has been very difficult in Egypt….We have large numbers of people suffering from malnutrition, which is why those foodstuffs should be used for food and not fuel.” Egypt is historically the world’s largest wheat importer. The minister warned that government is providing its poorest consumers with food ration cards. The country is working to improve storage and production facilities to reduce the amount of food lost after harvest. Click here for more information. Waste The World Market for Waste Incineration Plants 2013/2014 Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Waste to Energy (Analyst version) - The World Market for Waste Incineration Plants 2013/2014" report. The annually published study is the world's largest data collection and market analysis for thermal waste utilisation. The report states that throughout the world, there are almost 2,200 energy-from-waste plants. They have a capacity of around 255 million tons of waste per year. By 2017, a further 180 plants, with a capacity of around 52 million tons, is expected to be additionally constructed. The report further includes:  A detailed analysis of pros and cons, technology and costs of waste incineration, including all the important political, economic, managerial and technical trends.  A description of the current and future market volumes by countries, up to and including 2017.  A project list with new construction, extension and renewal projects. Click here for more information. Multi-billion pound savings available to the grocery sector UK supply chain waste arisings, Source: WRAP New innovative research launched by WRAP, identifies how much food, drink and packaging waste arises in the grocery retail supply chain. It also looks at where in the sector it arises, what the waste is, and how it is managed. The new data examines waste across the supply chain and shows how waste is managed, where food is being redistributed to and where it is used as an ingredient in animal feed. The report also assesses other materials arising from the production of food. WRAP estimates that there is 6.5 Mt of waste arising in the grocery retail supply chain. From this figure, 3.9 Mt arises from food and drink manufacturers, and the majority of this is food. Retailer’s main waste comes from packaging which, in total, accounts for around 1.2 Mt.
  7. 7. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 7 of 8 It is estimated that food and packaging waste in this area has a value of £6.9 billion. This represents some 7% of the value of food and drink sales to households, money which could be used to increase exports or investment to help individual businesses and the economy to grow. By focusing on the opportunities for improving waste prevention, businesses can add the savings benefit straight to their bottom line. Click here for more information. Cool Planet, Acritaz to turn palm waste into biofuel in Malaysia Palm plantation waste, Source: EcoSeed Biorefinery developer Cool Planet Energy Systems and Acritaz Greentech will be building commercial facilities in Malaysia to transform palm plantation waste products – empty husks, wood, and bark waste – into biofuel and biochar. Acritaz Greentech, a group of companies that bring biomass processing and bio- technology innovations to plantations, has signed an agreement with Cool Planet to explore the building of multiple commercial biomass processing facilities using Cool Planet technology in Malaysia. Acritaz and Cool Planet will use biomass raw materials that are abundant in Malaysia – such as palm plantation waste – to create renewable cellulosic fuels for the Asian market. They will develop a plant design that satisfies the specific needs of Malaysia with the first such plant to begin construction in 2014. Acritaz will work to commit $60 million for this first facility before the end of 2013. They plan to locate this facility in the Malaysian state of Johor. The two companies will then work to build multiple such facilities across Malaysia, with Acritaz purchasing proprietary equipment and consumables from Cool Planet. Click here for more information. Events Health, Safety & Environmental Management in Anaerobic Digestion, 22 October in Wiltshire UK _HSAnaerobic_Oct_2013.pdf Health, Safety and Environmental Management in Anaerobic Digestion provides real information and practical advice for all those in, or embarking on anaerobic digestion. Invaluable for all AD developers, this conference will prove unmissable for all those looking to run efficient, safe and well managed plants. Increasing Methane Yields Course - Newark, 12 November in Newark, UK methane-yields-course-4 Following the success of the inaugural training course at the Innovation Centre, Exeter, The National Skills Academy course 'Increasing Methane Yields' is now being offered at a range of venues across the country. It is designed to provide AD operator staff essential knowledge of the science behind AD.
  8. 8. NNFCC Market Review, October 2013, Page 8 of 8 Feedstock Prices Arrows indicate rise (↑), unchanged (–) or fall (↓) from previous month. ENDEX Wood Pellets Futures Wood Pellets Delivered (5% VAT), UK Ex-Farm Barley Straw (D1000), UK Ex-Farm Wheat Straw (D1000), UK Date €/tonne £/tonne £/tonne £/tonne Oct 13 - 215.25-270.00 (– -↑) 40.00-55.00 (– - –) 35.00-50.00 (– - –) Nov 13 126.35 (–) - - - Dec 13 126.95 (–) - - - Q4 13 128.39 (–) - - - Q1 14 130.00 (–) - - - Q2 14 130.00 (–) - - - Q3 14 - - - - For details on European wood pellet futures prices see For details on UK wood pellet spot prices contact For details on straw spot prices see LIFFE Wheat MATIF Wheat MATIF Rape-seed CBOT Wheat CBOT Maize CBOT Soybean Date £/tonne €/tonne €/tonne cnts/bsh cnts/bsh cnts/bsh Nov 13 160.00 (↑) 195.75 (↑) 367.25 (↓) - - 1292.00 (↓) Dec 13 - - - 692.75 (↑) 446.00 (↓) - Jan 14 161.00 (↑) 195.50 (↑) - - - 1292.25 (↓) Feb 14 - - 368.50 (↓) - - - Mar 14 162.75 (↑) 195.50 (↑) - 702.25 (↑) 458.25 (↓) 1277.25 (↓) May 14 166.00 (↑) 196.00 (↑) 368.25 (↓) 707.75 (↑) 466.75 (↓) 1256.25 (↓) Jul 14 166.15 (↑) - - 699.00 (↑) 473.50 (↓) 1250.75 (↓) Aug 14 - - 364.00 (↓) - - 1239.00 Sep 14 - - - 703.50 (↑) 478.50 (↓) - Nov 14 155.00 (↑) 191.50 (↑) 369.50 (↓) - - - Dec 14 - - - 713.25 (↑) 486.50 (↓) - For details on futures prices see Other biomass feedstock prices are available upon request, simply contact Credits and Disclaimer NNFCC Market Review is edited by Dr Michael Goldsworthy for NNFCC members. Feedback is welcome. The Review has been compiled in good faith and NNFCC does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or the products or services shown. NNFCC The Bioeconomy Consultants NNFCC, Biocentre, Phone: +44 (0)1904 435182 York Science Park, Fax: +44 (0)1904 435345 Innovation Way, E: Heslington, York, Web: YO10 5DG.