April 13, 2018

In This Week's Pellet Wire:

Hitting the Road  

Beginning next week I'll begin a stretch of travel that will find me talking about the ambitions of the Pellet Fuel Institute to both large, international audiences as well as audiences with more localized goals. I've been a part of both of them before and I look forward to each.

International Biomass Conference & Expo

The International Biomass Conference & Expo served as my introduction to the broader biomass-to-energy sector. I attended the very first Biomass Conference & Expo in 2008 and have been to every one of them since. It has been my great pleasure to organize the conference since 2010 and for at least five years I've been fortunate enough to act as emcee and moderate the opening general session. It was on this panel that my first conversations with the Pellet Fuels Institute were had.

This year, the moderating duties will be taken over by Anna Simet, editor of Biomass Magazine and I'll be moving a few chairs over, representing what we're up to here at the Pellet Fuels Institute. Anna and I have compared notes and I'm looking forward to answering questions about our goals at PFI and the critical importance of growing the number of pellet appliances sold in this country. 

A number of PFI members will also be in Atlanta as well as some who are not yet members. I look forward to catching up with our current members and sharing our vision for the PFI moving forward with them and other producers while I'm there.

Heating the Midwest...with Pellets

In less than a month, I'll make the short commute to Carlton, Minnesota for Heating the Midwest, a regionally focused gathering of biomass heating in the region. The Pellet Fuels Institute is a proud co-host of the event and I'll be talking during the conference's first morning.

As an upper-Midwesterner AND a pellet enthusiast Heating the Midwest is a perfect fit. In fact, I've bookmarked this Heating the Midwest web page and find myself looking through the data they've pulled together.

Consider this from the website: U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. Census data were analyzed by FutureMetrics, which found that nearly 5 million homes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are not connected to natural gas infrastructure. In the context of Operation 100k the Upper Midwest has to be on our short list of markets where we can find new pellet buyers. I look forward to speaking with my colleagues not only in the sector, but also in the region about how we might best go about getting this done.

If you'll be at either of these important industry events please say hello. I look forward to seeing you.

- Tim Portz, Executive Director

Know Anyone Interested in Running for the PFI Board of Directors? 

The PFI Board of Directors Nominating Committee is looking for nominations for the 2018-2019 PFI Board of Directors. The Board will welcome new members to fill several open seats at its meeting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, coinciding with the Annual Conference.

All PFI members are encouraged to submit names to the Nominating Committee of people you'd like to see leading PFI. Please send nominations to [email protected] by April 27th for names to be considered. 

Only 11 Weeks Till the PFI Annual Conference in Myrtle Beach! 

It's not too early to register for the PFI Annual Conference taking place in Myrtle Beach, June 24-26! The conference is earlier in the summer than in years past, and hotel rooms are already half reserved, so don't let it sneak up on you.

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities, and a golf tournament. The golf tournament is a great way to experience some friendly competition with your friends and colleagues in the industry while playing on a top-notch course. 

The agenda, previewed by Tim Portz in Nashville and here in Pellet Wire, is shaping up nicely. See the panels and information sessions we have in store on the PFI website

Send Us Photos

We're building a collection of photos of our members, their pellet mills and product. Send them to Carrie Annand at [email protected]. Thanks to Stan Elliot with Pacific Coasts Pellets for the above photo.

Become a 2018 PFI Sponsor in April

Don't miss the opportunity to sponsor PFI early 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
  • 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 PFI's Annual Conference in June? We'd like to hear from you. Nominate speakers, 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 2018. Most important, mark your calendars for next year's PFI events! 

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

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us 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, Twitter, 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.

Do You 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

April 16, 2018: International Biomass Conference & Expo

May 1, 2018: Heating the Midwest

June 24 - 26, 2018: PFI Annual Conference 

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

New England Wood Pellet Acquired by Colorado-based Company
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

New England Wood Pellet LLC of Jaffrey has been acquired by a Colorado-based wood pellet home-heating company.

Mitch Lehn, human resources director for Lignetics, Inc., said Thursday that his company has purchased all of New England Wood Pellet's assets, which includes the flagship location in Jaffrey and four manufacturing plants throughout the northeast part of the country.

"This acquisition allows us to fill a geographic void," said Lehn. "This is a significant capacity increase for us... it allows us to be more competitive."

Lignetics is the largest residential wood pellet manufacturing company in the United States and now has a production capacity of about one million tons of wood pellets per year. Lignetics is the only pellet manufacturer that has manufacturing plants in the eastern, central, and western parts of the country.

Read Full Article

20-year Anniversary of North American Industrial Wood Pellet Exports
Canadian Biomass

Twenty years ago on April 6th 1998, the first trans-ocean bulk shipment of wood pellets from North America, which were carried on the Mandarin Moon, arrived and began discharging 15,000 metric tonnes of wood pellets at the port of Helsingborg, Sweden.

FutureMetrics' partner and operations expert, John Swaan, entered into the first offtake agreement for bulk pellet delivery from north America, produced the pellets at his pellet plant in Prince George, B.C., and loaded the ship in Prince Rupert, B.C., on Feb. 9, 1998.

After a long transit from the west coast of Canada to Europe, the ship was unloaded in Helsingborg, Sweden for use as fuel by Helsingborg Energi.

John was the pioneer in what is now a rapidly growing industry that in 2018 will use about 21 million tonnes of wood pellets. A significant proportion of those pellets are shipped from North America. 

Read Full Article

Ribbon-cutting at Biomass Facility on April 6th 
Plumas County News, California

The opening of the new biomass project has been a long time coming, but it is finally here. On Friday, April 6, the Sierra Institute will introduce the working biomass system at the county's Health and Humans Services Center through a ribbon cutting ceremony.

After three years of hard work by the county, and the Sierra Institute, the state of the art facility will offer heating for the large building.

The Sierra Institute works to promote healthy forests alongside rural communities and has been working with the county on establishing an affordable and effective heating system to replace the geothermal heating system at the county annex building.

The geothermal system proved to be inadequate to effectively heat the building.

The biomass system will run through the geothermal system and heat the building. It also will be fueled by forest clean-up projects and wood chips. The wood chips will be provided by timber companies throughout the county who work to clean up their own lands. The wood chips offer a market for small or unhealthy trees, and an incentive to keep forests clean.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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