Before invest in pelletizing industry or start pellet manufacturing business in Chile, it is essensial to probe deeply into the local pellet production industry and wood pellets market. Previously, there were three famous wood pellet factories in Chile.
- The Ecopellets Company was built up 6-8 years ago near Santiago de Chile, had two factories (from Andritz and La Meccanica). There hypothetical limit which was never fully realized was around 6 tons/hour or around 30,000 tons per year. The urban waste wood from Santiago was what was utilized as feedstock. The wood pellets were intended for the local market. However, since this domestic market was too small in size, the company ended production.
- Andes biopellets which is owned by a Swedish investor was built near Santa Barbaras. It is situated near a saw plant, and uses saw dust as raw material. In 2011, Bioenergy International reported a creation of 50,000 tons.
- The third wood pellet which is managed by Ecomas involves a joint venture between the Chilean Company Promasa and the Japanese Somitomo Corporation. It is situated in the middle - south of Chile close to Los Angeles City. In 2011 the limit recorded by Bioenergy International was 10,000 tons. The organization has a marketing strategy that involves selling wood pellet boilers to small-scale businesses, and providing them with pellets on long-term contracts.
The market in Chile has been facing challenges owing to their small domestic market. Chile is an expansive market that depends on firewood for heating (something that leads to substantial environmental issues during the winter). A stove made from wood pellet would be the ideal solution to provide heat that is cleaner. And since stoves that are of high- quality are quite costly, and there are no subsidies for either pellets or stoves, it is difficult to rival the firewood.
Read More: How to Build Your Pellet Mill Plant Step by Step!
Lately, stoves from KWW and Rika have been gradually entering this market although the volumes are still negligible. Currently, the sizes are also very small to be exported. However, small volumes have previously been exported to Korea before, but in containers, but still this was inefficient.
Additionally, since Chile faces the Pacific, and travel distances to reach the European markets are longer, this makes financial aspects of the trade unfavorable. The long-term potential for producing wood pellets in Chile is huge: the country produces approximately 40m cubic meters of industrial wood that is round, and extra 16m cubic meters of firewood, and therefore the amount of sawdust and potential of shaving is massive.
In any case, these residues are now being utilized largely to produce power and heat (since power costs are amongst the highest in Latin America). Additionally, much of the forest resources are owned and managed by the paper and pulp sector, which is not passionate about making the most of the opportunities of producing pellets, yet still want to produce electricity.
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Types of Biomass for Pellet Plant
The above chart illustrates the various assortments of biogenic solid fuels that accrue as residues, waste products or byproducts both in forestry and agricultural-related production and in the additional industrial processing or at the close of a usage chain. Energy plants from agricultural activities (such as short rotation plantation, whole grain plants, miscanthus), can represent the many possibilities for pellet production. Taking after the DIN EN 14961-1 European standard, the solid biogenic fuels are grouped into wood biomass, and biomass from fruits and other defined or undefined blends.