Wood Resource Quarterly reports that the pulp and paper manufacturers consumed 75 million tons of woody biomass during 2009.
This is an increase of more than 50% of 2006’s figures and represents 18% of the total power consumption of the pulp and paper manufacturing sector. The main countries using this woody biomass are Canada, USA, Brazil and Sweden. The reasons given are that they are trying to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel sources (electricity through coal or oil) for their energy requirements.
Many pulp manufacturers produced woody biomass as a secondary or waste product in the past. This included under and oversize chips, branches and foliage entangled in the primary product, or even from mill debarking. However, sourcing biomass on the open market has become increasingly important. In 2006, 53% of woody biomass was purchased on the open market, and this increased to 69% in 2009. Plants in Europe and North America had to purchase more biomass on the open markets than those in South America, Asia and Oceania. Source: Wood Resources International, www.woodprices.com