Pellet Market

Webinar: Pellet plants in developing economies


Wood pellets are one of the leading renewable and sustainable solution for meeting the demands for the global clean energy transformation. Currently, millions of tonnes of wood pellets are utilized for providing clean energy for heating, electricity, and cooking all over the world. Much of the production and consumption of wood pellets occurs in developed economies such as USA, Canada, EU, Japan etc. and the use is currently in large scale power plants and the residential heating sector, However, there is an increasing opportunity for producing pellets from agro and forest residues in emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Latin America for use in heating, electricity as well as cooking. 

In this regard, WBA is pleased to invite you all to a new webinar ‘Pellet plants in developing economies – a prerequisite for advanced biomass cooking’. Project developers from Africa, Asia and Latin America will share their experiences in planning, building and operating pellet facilities. The event is planned as a joint webinar along with Bioenergy International – one of the leading trade publications focussed on biomass to energy value chain. BioInt is also the official magazine of WBA. 

WBA initiated a Working Group on Advanced Biomass Cooking (ABC) bringing together actors from around the world that are engaged in Advanced Biomass Cooking in one way or another. We have also recently published the website, Pellets.Africa and have selected the transition to advanced biomass cooking as a focal area of engagement for the year 2022. 

The previous webinar organized in February was focussed on gasification cooking technology. Recording and presentations available on WBA homepage. 


  • Maarten Gnoth (Hinterland): Basic requirements for a successful pellet project development in Africa
  • Conrad Klingenberg, Marion Peterson(ECS Zambia): Experiences with the ECS pellet plants in Zambia
  • Ketaki Kokil (Ecosense): Village scale pellet production – experiences in India
  • Chris Fodor (Congo basin pellets): Experiences with setting up a pellet plant in Gabon
  • Magnus Stahl (Karlstad University): Pelletizing different raw materials: findings from research that can be valuable

The event will be moderated by Christian Rakos, President, World Bioenergy Association 

Benefits of Pellets

Pellets are categorized by their heating value, moisture and ash content, and dimensions. They can be used as fuels for power generation, commercial or residential heating, and cooking

There are numerous benefits achieved by utilizing pellet fuel, including economic and environmental. Pellet fuel is utilized in varied settings and applications, such as home heating appliances and large-scale boilers in commercial operations.
There are an estimated 1,000,000 residences/businesses in the US currently heating with pellets.

A typical homeowner uses 3 tons of pellets per heating season at a cost of about $825. At an average retail price of $250/ton, pellets offer a fuel cost per million BTU of $19.05. To offer a fuel cost of $19.05 per million BTU, # 2 fuel oil and propane would have to be priced at $2.05/gal and $1.36/gal, respectively! (Fuel Value Calculator, USFS, 2008)

One ton of wood pellets has the energy equivalency of 2.8 barrels of #2 fuel oil. (Energy Information Administration)

Direct thermal conversion of 3 million tons of wood pellets displaces the equivalent of almost 8.5 million barrels of #2 fuel oil. That is 356 million gallons! (Energy Information Administration)

Direct thermal conversion of pellets has an efficiency level of approximately 80%.

Pellet stoves have extremely low particulate emissions due to their high burn efficiency and the density of the fuel. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Every ton of pellets used vs. oil reduces CO2 emissions by about 1.5 tons. Total emissions offset this year will be nearly 4.5 million tons of CO2.

Pellet distribution costs less than the cost of distributing wood chips.

Wood pellets have a fossil energy ratio (net energy output/fossil energy used) of 12:1. (Net Energy Value Study, University of Wisconsin Green Bay)

Pellet manufacturing directly employs approximately 2,300 people in the U.S. and supports thousands of industry-related jobs in fields such as transportation and logging. (North America’s Wood Pellet Sector, Spelter & Toth, 2009)

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