U.K. demand fuels 46 per cent rise in exports of Canadian wood pellets, NEB reports
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:56PM EST
CALGARY -- The National Energy Board says exports of Canadian wood pellets to be burned as biomass fuel jumped by 46 per cent in 2016 as demand soared in the United Kingdom.
The federal agency says Canada exported 2.4 billion kilograms in 2016, making it the second-largest exporter by weight after the United States. About 70 per cent was shipped to the U.K. and 11 per cent to Japan.
The Canadian industry has grown by 73 per cent over the past four years, the NEB says. About 65 per cent of Canada's pellets are produced in British Columbia.
In July, Tokyo-based Sumitomo Corp. paid an undisclosed amount to buy a 48-per-cent stake in B.C. pellet maker Pacific BioEnergy Corp. to ensure a supply for its power plants in Japan.
Wood pellets are made from forest industry waste such as bark and sawdust and are considered a renewable energy resource that's easier to burn than solid wood.
The NEB says the rise in demand is linked to decisions around the world to phase out coal.