Stuttgart: Dr. Stefan D√∂ring will be a speaker at the 11. Industrieforum Pellets 5th October 2011. the Titel is "Experience report for planning and establishing pellet production with log wood preparation in Far East, Russia. Assessment of the advantages of torrefied pellets".


The successful operation of a wood pellet plant, under economic aspects, is primarily dependent on the buying market of feedstock materials and the secured sales markets. In Germany, the demand for wood pellets is satisfied by domestically produced products and imports. The interplay of supply and demand, in reference to the feedstock materials and the produced end-products (DIN Plus or industry pellets), determine the price indication. In Germany, the location factor plays a comparatively minor role for domestically produced wood pellets, (logistics chains) because of the relatively short transport routes and the good infrastructure. An economically and quantitatively secured supply with suitable feedstock materials, in combination with a secured sales market (local / international), is crucial for the economic success of an operator because of the availability and the cost structure.

In contrast, the situation in many eastern regions presents itself differently. A distinct wood economy has existed for generations because of the large availability of wood. In the past logs were primarily taken for local use and for export. Finished products made from wood were partly imported. In order for the value chain in the country to increase, further processing operations were encouraged and customs duties on log wood and wooden products were increased in exporting.

As the further processing operations, because of their spatial seclusion, have no sales market for saw dust and wood by-products, in many cases a "disposal problem" arose. The reason for this is the amount of processed wood and the accrual of wood by-products attached to this (saw dust). Because of the relatively high water content, the low bulk density and the extensive logistic route, the transport of fresh saw dust and wood by-products presents itself, in most cases, as uneconomical. In this context the price of feedstock materials for a wood pelleting process in such regions plays a minor roll in comparison to Germany. In contrast, logistics is a particular challenge and present a significant cost factor. Thus, locations with access to rail lines and waterways are preferred.

As wood pellets are susceptible to water entry, in many cases the storage of pellets takes place similarly to the storage of grain. In comparison, storage under open sky and transport in open rail cars is substantially cheaper. In many cases, such infrastructures exists based on the transport of coal.

Due to this, in these regions an interest in the torrefaction of biomass and the subsequent compression (e.g. pelletisation) developed. The water repellent qualities and the increase of the energy density are thereby to be seen as primary advantages.

The pellet factory ARKRAIM, in eastern Russia in the Khabarovsk region, serves as an example of pellet production. It is a plant with a capacity of approx. 240 000 t/a laid out in 2 lines with a total of 8 pellet presses. The company R.E.M. Engineering AG is the general exporter in this project.

The plant essentially consists of:

-          Debarking of logs and log reduction

-          Wet chip storage

-          Drum drying

-          Dry chip storage

-          Pellet production plant and biomass thermal power station

The essential technical information of the plant:

-          Capacity : 240.000 t/a wood pellets

-          Number of presses: 10

-          Feedstock materials: round timber, wet saw dust, wet wood chippings, dry wood shavings and cut-off pieces

-          Status: under construction, commissioning October/November 2011