Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 14, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC doubles allowable height of wood buildings to 12-storeys

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 14, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

The BC Government’s decision to double the height limit for wood buildings—ahead of next year’s scheduled change to the national building code—gets kudos from the forest industry and the building and design community. In related news: the first large-scale mass timber residence hall opens in Arkansas; Lendlease puts its CLT plans on hold in the wake of the UK’s combustible materials ban; and BC’s newest sawmill plans to produce engineered wood products from low grade logs.

In other news: US construction input prices rise for first time since October; conservation of boreal caribou get a boost in the Northwest Territories; clearcuts among reasons cited for BC’s monster spring floods; the US moves to lift grey wolf endangered species status; and Trump’s 2020 wildfire budget is the largest ever [or perhaps not].

Finally, Vancouver’s ‘email a tree‘ initiative wins gov’t waste award.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Thousands of dollars for emails ‘from trees’: Vancouver wins government waste award

CTV News
March 13, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

The City of Vancouver was sarcastically honoured by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation for an initiative that allowed to “email a tree.” Vancouver’s park board won the CTF’s Municipal Teddy Award for the project that the federation says cost about $50,000. …The tree email idea was part of an project meant to highlight local artists. The city posted signs with ID numbers and email addresses on about two dozen trees in the Jericho and Point Grey areas, inviting visitors to get in touch via email. The CTF said five artists were given $10,000 each to respond to those emails “within a week,” acting as the trees. …The CTF also honoured two senior civil servants who made headlines following their suspension from the B.C. Legislature. …Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “won” the federal Teddy for an eight-day trip to India last February.

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Business & Politics

Former mill town Gold River, B.C., still reinventing economy 20 years later

By Megan Thomas
CBC News
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gold River’s mill days are firmly in the rearview mirror, but decaying buildings from that era down the road from the village are a constant reminder that pulp and paper built this town. The mill is the reason Gold River exists in the middle of Vancouver Island, with road access to Nootka Sound on the island’s west coast. …But in 1998 it shutdown, eliminating 360 good paying jobs the village relied on. …During the boom days, Unger says the population topped 2,000 people. Now there are about 1,300. …Hopes for a new large-scale industrial business, including one that had a plan to burn Vancouver’s garbage, didn’t take. …Logging in the forests around Gold River is the main employer, along with aquaculture. The town council has also worked to secure wood supply for a small sawmill and a cedar shake mill that provide employment.

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New sawmill in Port Alberni bucks forestry trend

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 14, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Kamal Sanghera & Suki Sanghera

The supply of logs for coastal sawmills has been shrinking. …Not only has the annual allowable cut on Crown land dwindled… but the size of logs has been shrinking too. …Retooling mills to process smaller-diameter logs is expensive, and so are logging costs on the coast, so there has been a lack of investment in new sawmills on the B.C. coast. One recent exception is San Group Inc., which is investing more than $70 million in a new mill in Port Alberni. …The sawmill will be able to process smaller, low-grade logs for use in engineered wood products. …The company hopes to have the new mill operating by late summer. It will result in 50 new jobs, with up to 200 as the company adds additional phases to the mill. …Sanghera doesn’t like to see B.C. logs shipped overseas and sold back to Canadians in products manufactured in places like China.

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Construction Input Prices Rise for First Time Since October 2018

For Construction Pros
March 13, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

According to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)… construction input prices rose 0.9% monthly in February and 1.8% in the past 12 months. Inputs to nonresidential construction were up 1% on a monthly basis and 2.7% on a yearly basis. This is the first time that input prices have risen on a monthly basis since October 2018, when prices increased by 0.5%. Of the 11 construction subcategories, seven experienced price declines for the month. …The largest monthly increases in prices were seen in softwood lumber (4.8%) and crude petroleum (2.6%). …“With the global economy continuing to weaken, it is unlikely that materials prices will surge in the near term, despite a still very active U.S. nonresidential construction sector,” said Basu. “It is quite conceivable that much of the monthly increase in materials prices registered in February was associated with unusually severe winter weather in much of the nation.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Penticton building manager says more mass timber options a positive

By Tara Bowie
Penticton Western News
March 14, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A building code update allowing up to 12 storey buildings to be made of mass timber will mean less red tape for developers, Penticton’s building manager says. Ken Kunka, building and permitting manager, said the city has an alternative solution process when it comes to those wanting to build outside the building code. “We as a municipality work with engineers and professionals in the alternative solution process, but it’s can be a cumbersome process,” he said. Kunka said the largest mass timber project in the city so far was the new wing at the Lakeside Resort. The “West Wing,” features wood-primary construction in the six-storey, 70-unit expansion. The glulam beams, columns and cross-laminated panels were built and supplied by Structurlam.

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B.C. building code adjusted upwards to allow 12-storey wood buildings

By Dirk Meissner
Canadian Press in the Vancouver Sun
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The height limit for wooden buildings in B.C. is rising to 12 from six storeys in a move that Premier John Horgan expects to spur development using timber and give the province a head start on other parts of the country. B.C. is changing its building code to allow the construction of taller wood buildings as a safe, economic and environmental alternative to concrete apartments and office buildings, Horgan said Wednesday. B.C.’s building code changes come a year ahead of expected changes in the national building code, which are also expected to increase height limits for wood buildings to 12 storeys… Hardy Wentzel, chief executive officer of Structurlam, said the height change allows the company to continue being an innovator on mass timber products and building designs. …Eric Andreasen, vice-president of sales and marketing at Vancouver building company Adera, welcomed the change, which he said will likely convince more developers to consider wood buildings.

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BC building code will now allow wood buildings to be taller

By Kenneth Chan
The Daily Hive
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government announced today new changes to the BC building code that will allow the construction of taller wood buildings of 12 storeys — up from the current allowance of six. This landmark change in how taller buildings can be designed comes after years of industry and government-supported research and pilot projects, namely the 174-ft-tall, 18-storey UBC Brock Commons wooden student residence building, which was completed in 2017 and was the world’s tallest wooden building at the time. Such mass timber buildings entail a primary load-bearing structure made of either solid or engineered wood, and encapsulated mass timber is where the mass timber components are surrounded by fire-resident materials like drywall. To meet seismic and fire safety requirements, the bases of such taller wooden buildings are built on a concrete base, and the fire exit stairwell and elevator shafts are also made out of concrete.

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Code changes create jobs, opportunities in B.C. forest communities

By Office of the Premier and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Government of British Columbia
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest communities will see more jobs and opportunity from B.C.’s proactive adoption of building code changes that allow the safe construction of taller wood buildings. “Companies like Structurlam are leading the way with innovative engineered wood products that create jobs in the forest sector and opportunity for people in communities throughout B.C.,” said Premier John Horgan. “Changes to the national building code that allow for taller wood buildings take effect next year, but we’re not waiting to get started. Our government is ready to work with communities to build safe, secure and green tall wood buildings that will create jobs, grow B.C.’s value-added sector and realize our low-carbon future.” Eligible local governments throughout B.C. are invited to become early adopters of mass-timber technology for construction of buildings up to 12 storeys, up from the current allowance of six storeys. 

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Canadian Wood Council Commends the Government of British Columbia for Supporting Forest Communities

By Natalie Tarini
Canadian wood Council
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) applauds the Government of British Columbia’s announcement today in support of opportunities in the province for forest communities and innovative low-carbon solutions such as tall wood construction. “Tall wood construction is one example where the CWC’s mission of expanding market access and increasing the demand for Canadian wood products is recognized through excellence in codes, standards, regulations and education,” explained Rick Jeffery, Interim President of the Canadian WoodCouncil. “Today’s announcement marks the collective technical, research and code efforts from a consortium of industry partners that have worked together to demonstrate that tall wood is a safe, sophisticated and low-carbon building solution.” Advanced construction technologies and modern mass timber products are proving that building tall with wood is not only achievable but also gaining momentum and interest from the design and construction sector – with completed building examples located around the world. 

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University of Arkansas residence hall to open on time, on budget

By Jeff Della Rosa
Talk Business & Politics
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The nearly $79 million Stadium Drive Residence Halls under construction east of Bud Walton Arena are on budget and will open before the move-in period starts Aug. 17, said Christopher Spencer, assistant director for marketing and strategic communications for University Housing at the University of Arkansas. …This is the first large-scale mass timber residence hall project in the United States, and Ashley Rao of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, said constructing the structure with cross-laminated timber and glulam beams and columns cost about 3.5% more than if steel were used in their place. University officials chose to use CLT because it comes from “sustainably sourced trees” and is “less environmentally impactful than traditional materials like steel and concrete,” Spencer said. Also, timber is a large industry in Arkansas, and the hope is the project would serve as a “showcase for what timber products could be used for in the state.”

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Nation’s Top Green College Plans a New Green Building

By Scott Gibson
Green Building Advisor
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The … number one green college in the U.S. has announced plans for a new campus center that will be built to the German Passivhaus standard… In a news release, the College of the Atlantic said that the 29,000-square-foot Center for Human Ecology will be a multipurpose teaching and gathering space. …Key to the design is the use of mass timber components to replace concrete and steel, a move that will substantially lower the carbon footprint of the $13 million project. …“It’s mostly nominal lumber, but a large portion of the structure is mass timber framing, glue-laminated beams, with a deliberate attempt to move away from steel and concrete as a construction method,” GO Logic Project Architect Tim Lock said. …Substituting glulam beams for steel and concrete provided a significant drop in embodied carbon and also beat steel and concrete in cost by a “fair margin.” 

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Lendlease puts CLT plans on hold amid regulation uncertainty

By Jordan Marshall
Building UK
March 13, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UK – Lendlease’s design and technical boss has said the firm is avoiding the use of cross-laminated timber due to uncertainty in the building regulations. Lucy Homer, Lendlease’s general manager for design and technical, said the firm – which built 2016 Stirling prize-shortlisted Trafalgar Place at Elephant and Castle from CLT, told Building: “We are not currently pursuing CLT projects. Technically it should still be feasible to use but from a risk perspective we have taken that decision.” Homer said the company is waiting for the Building Regulations to be clarified regarding the use of CLT in the wake of last year’s combustible materials ban. …The use of CLT in the construction of external walls of buildings over 18m was in effect outlawed when the government revealed details of its combustible materials ban last November.

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Forestry

The Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories partner on Boreal Caribou Conservation

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

YELLOWKNIFE – The Government of Canada is protecting and conserving nature and wildlife, an important legacy for future generations. Together with the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Conference of Management Authorities and Indigenous governments, organizations and communities, we are making progress toward the recovery and protection of boreal caribou. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the Northwest Territories Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Robert C. McLeod, today announced an agreement to strengthen conservation of boreal caribou and further collaboration on wildlife and the environment. The key result of this agreement is a commitment from the Government of the Northwest Territories to complete range planning along a clear and reliable timeline to help ensure critical habitat is conserved.

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Long, cold winter won’t affect fire season, says expert

By Bev Betkowski
University of Alberta – Folio
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s long, cold winter won’t do anything to dampen the 2019 wildfire season, but being extra careful when working and playing in the forests this spring could help, “we aren’t sure what’s coming this year,” said U of A wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan. “With the snow on the ground right now, it’s not going to be a problem for the next while, but we are expecting much warmer weather so the snow could disappear quickly and we might be into fire season quickly.” …“Regardless of how much rain you’ve had or how much snow is melted, if you get a week of hot, dry, windy weather you can have a raging inferno,” said Flannigan, who is director of Canada Wildfire. High levels of precipitation can have a bigger impact on lowlands—wetter, boggy peatlands that make up about 20 per cent of Alberta’s forests—but this winter was very dry, he said.

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North Cowichan endorses harvesting of blow-down trees reserve

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

North Cowichan’s council has endorsed the recommendations of the municipality’s forest advisory committee to harvest trees that blew down or were heavily damaged during the recent windstorm in parts of the municipal forest reserve. …But Icel Dobell, a member of the Where do We Stand group that was formed to promote a cessation of logging in the forest reserve’s 5,000 hectares, said council’s decision on the blow down was rushed and more professional input is required. “Council was advised that some of the blow down areas won’t be accessible without major road-building and other work — those areas will be left alone,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. “However, it’s important to clear out the blow downs where we can to keep the forest reserve as safe as possible for public use, and to reduce wildfire risk.”

Also, see letter to the editor: Decision on blow downs rushed, no public input

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Sprawling clearcuts among reasons for B.C.’s monster spring floods

By Ben Parfitt
The Narwhal
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Widespread, disastrous flooding in the Fraser Valley was narrowly averted last spring when the Fraser River swelled. Many older forests in the valleys draining into the river’s upper reaches are gone due to clear-cut logging, raging wildfires and insect attacks, all of which can increase peak water flows. Despite this, British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development continues to approve high logging rates while doing little to understand their cumulative effects. This has prompted a former ministry employee and professional forester … to warn that further calamities may lie ahead. …“The way in which the ministry operates is doing irreversible harm to the environment and to British Columbians,” says Anthony Britneff… Fred Marshall shares Britneff’s concerns. He says BC Timber Sales’ current plans call for more than half of all new clear-cuts to be 40 hectares or more in size.

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Tsawout members upset with leadership’s decision to approve logging

BC Local News
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saturna Island, BC — The elected leadership of the Tsawout First Nation has given the green light to an extensive logging operation on Saturna Island, much to the surprise and dismay of many in their community. The decision was announced Feb. 26 and some Tsawout members say there has been no consultation or communication from the chief and council, who made the decision. …Jesurun Marks, a logger and hand faller with eight years experience and a member of the Tsawout band, informally inspected the site and wrote a report citing a number of concerns. …Indigenous Services Canada confirmed that Chemainus Forest Products has been appointed to harvest 33,477 cubic metres of trees within Saturna Island IR No. 7 and that a timber permit was issued by the department on Feb. 26.

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City wants baseline assessment of watersheds

By Carolyn Grant
BC Local News
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

After discussing continuing issues with urban deer with Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson last week, discussion turned to watersheds, specifically the two that service Kimberley. The city has two watersheds, Mathew Creek, which serves Marysville and Mark Creek, which serves the rest of Kimberley. McCormick’s discussions with the Minister were not on the way they were being managed. The City has just renewed their Memorandum of Understanding with BC Timber Sales, who handle all the logging activity in the watershed, and McCormick says that relationship is good. The MOU, McCormick says, is a comprehensive document on behaviours in the watershed and how logging happens.

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Trump says his budget has more money than ever for wildfire prevention. It doesn’t.

By Katie Irby and Emily Cadei
San Luis Obispo Tribune
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says in his budget that he’s asking for the highest amount ever for certain wildfire prevention programs. His proposal actually contains less money for wildfire prevention efforts than the current federal spending plan. It’s a small difference, just $6 million out of about $1.4 billion for wildfire prevention programs… But, it would be a cut if Congress approves it. Meanwhile, Trump’s budget would increase money that could contribute to harvesting timber and clearing trees. Trump has encouraged more logging in the past year. He publicly blames California and environmental groups for lax forest management on federal lands, where it is the responsibility of the federal government. …Trump is requesting $450 million — $15 million more than the current budget — for hazardous fuel mitigation under the U.S. Forest Service, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

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US moves to lift remaining gray wolf protections

By Matthew Brown and John Flesher
The Associated Press in the Longview Daily News
March 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BILLINGS, Mont. — Gray wolves in the U.S. would be stripped of federal protection and subjected to hunting and trapping in more states under a proposal released Thursday that declares the predators recovered following a decades-long restoration effort. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to revoke the wolves’ endangered and threatened species status and put them under authority of state wildlife agencies across the Lower 48 states. …”The facts are clear and indisputable — the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species,” acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said. Wildlife advocates and some members of Congress say the move is premature because wolves occupy only a fraction of a historical range that once stretched across most of North America. …Environmentalists and animal advocacy groups have pledged to challenge in court any action to ease or eliminate protections.

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Power lines sparked massive Southern California fire

By Christopher Weber
The Associated Press in the Washington Post
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — One of the largest fires in California history was sparked by Southern California Edison power lines that came into contact during high winds, investigators said Wednesday. The resulting arc ignited dry brush on Dec. 4, 2017, starting the blaze in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties that resulted in two deaths and blackened more than 440 square miles, according to the investigation headed by the Ventura County Fire Department. …A month after the blaze started, a downpour on the burn scar unleashed a massive debris flow that killed 21 people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in the seaside community of Montecito. Two people have not been found. The investigation was conducted by fire officials in both counties along with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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New Jersey Forest Service member named Forester of the Year

By Nicholas Polanin
My Central Jersey
March 14, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Bill and Pam Zipse

A New Jersey Forest Service member whose forestry management and planning skills are helping to protect 775,000 acres of state land is the Allegheny Society of American Foresters Forester of the Year. Bill Zipse, a supervising forester with the New Jersey Forest Service, received the honor during the organization’s recent winter conference in West Virginia. The Allegheny Society of American Foresters is a non-profit professional organization for foresters in a five-state region of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.

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What the logging story left out

By Jennie Floyd, Munroe Timber Company
The Monroe County Reporter
March 13, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Jennie Floyd

After reading a recent front-page article titled “Busted”, I felt compelled to clear the record with accurate facts about the logging sector in Monroe County. …Georgia is recognized as a national and global leader in working forests and forest product manufacturing. Georgia leads the nation for commercially available timberland; annual timber harvest volume; exports of pulp, paper, and paperboard products; and exports of wood pellets. …The recent article about loggers being “Busted” was prompted in part because citations were written for “muddying the roads” – a law that had not been enforced for years. What readers were led to believe however, is that logging in the rain causes “destruction and tearing up” of county roads, which is far from the truth.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Indigenous guardians sound alarm about climate change impacts in Canada

By Laura Kane
Canadian Press in The National Post
March 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

…More than 40 Indigenous communities in Canada have launched guardian programs, which employ local members to monitor ecosystems and protect sensitive areas and species. At a national gathering in Vancouver this week, guardians raised alarm about environmental degradation and climate change in their territories. …A major focus is monitoring the effects of climate change, Quock added. In addition to the rapid spread of last summer’s wildfire, he has seen caribou altering their migration routes and dwindling numbers of certain species of animals. Indigenous communities are often the first to experience the impacts of climate change, said Terry Teegee, regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. …Indigenous people have always been guardians of their territories, but a more formal movement has been developing over the past 30 years, said Valerie Courtois, a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh in Quebec.

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Greenpeace Founding Member: ‘The Whole Climate Crisis Is Not Only Fake News, It’s Fake Science’

By Tyler O’Neil
PJ Media
March 12, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Patrick Moore

On Tuesday morning, Patrick Moore, a founding member of the environmentalist organization Greenpeace, slammed climate alarmists for promoting a fake emergency.  …”In fact, the whole climate crisis as they call it is not only fake news, it’s fake science. There is no climate crisis,” Moore, author of the book Confessions of a Greenpeace Drop-Out: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. …”There is weather and climate all around the world. And, in fact, carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life,” Moore said. “That’s where the carbon comes from in carbon-based life, which is all life on land and in the sea.” …”Yes, of course, climate change is real. It’s been happening since the beginning of time. But it’s not dangerous and it’s not made by people,” Moore insisted.

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Dutch biomass consumption to reach 2.3 million tons by 2020

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
March 13, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Biomass consumption in the Netherlands is expected to grow from approximately 1.8 million metric tons in 2018 to about 2.3 million tons in 2020, according to a report filed by the Dutch government with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. …The government also said an increasing volume of biomass is expected to be imported, either in the form of wood chips or pellets. The report notes that the Dutch industrial market for biomass can be divided into two main segments: power plants that cofire biomass with coal, and biomass plants that generate heat and/or power. …The main constraint with the purchase of U.S. pellets or chips for these facilities is their relatively high price when compared to locally sourced biomass.

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