Logistical, economic, environmental and regulatory conditions for future wood pellet transportation by sea to Europe: The case of Northwest Russian seaports
Journal article, 2016
International trade in biomass for energy is growing and wood pellets have become a very successful internationally traded bioenergy-based commodity. Russian wood pellets have captured an important share of European markets. The woodpellets are mainly transported to European markets by sea. The paper addresses challenges facing wood pellet logistics in Northwest Russia, through the ports of St.Petersburg, Vyborg,and Ust-Luga, focusing on options for seaborne transportation of pellets from producer to consumer from the economic, environmental and regulatory perspectives. The study shows that seaborne transportation of Russian wood pellets faces many constraints and without improvements in all stages of the wood pellet transportation chain through Northwest Russian seaports, the future for Russian wood pellet exports to Europe does not seem promising from the economic and environmental
perspectives. Optimal logistics-related decisions require analysis of each specific situation, with detailed
study of the investment and production capacities of the individual companies involved. Better knowledge of the respective stages of the wood pellet transportation chain and full consideration of the environmental aspects involved will enable effective optimization actions to be taken. This study represents a starting point for further discussion of possible improvements to seaborne wood pellet
transportation to European consumers.