New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.
Bob MacGregor
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

I've been encouraged by the number of calls I have received in the last year from people wanting to build a pellet mill in Maine, looking for more info. Don't think any of them have pulled it off yet, though.

Anonymous
New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

[size=24]Why not Maine?[/size]

We have the people and the natural recourses?

Comp?

Regulation?

Taxes to the axes?

[size=24]Democrats.[/size]

Chairman
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

After throwing in and re-stacking five cords of wood in the basement over the past two weekends, I have to admit that having it 'poured' into my basement via a chute sure would be a whole lot easier on the back! :D

democrat
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

Anyone have any numbers that compare cost of cord wood vs. pellets? At $185/cord it's starting to get pretty pricey. I know it would be tough to compare BTU's but someone must have made the effort. As for why the plant is in NH and not Maine? UM...maybe they actually like business to come to NH.

Mark T. Cenci
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

South of the Adirondacks, New York grows a tremendous and mature hardwood forest.

BlueJay
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

Yes, but parts of Maine also grow exemplary stands of maple and other solid hardwoods.

Mark T. Cenci
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

What I've seen is no comparison to Maine. The road from Albany to Binghampton is solid hardwoods, minimum 60 feet tall and 12 inch diameter.

polisci
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

If I remember correctly, one of the largest factors for something like this is the transportation costs. Due to the fact that we are an "isolated" state it makes it difficult to transport at an economical rate. Maine is the only contiguous state in the nation that borders only one other state. Actually, we share a greater border with Canada than our own country. More needs to be done for intermodal transportation.

Doug Thomas
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

Isolated my foot...have you ever looked at a map. There are millions of consumers just north and east of Maine in Canada.

We're the closest state in the country to Europe, and we have good deep water ports if those on the left would ever let us use them.

Transportation costs in real dollars have decreased substantially in the last couple of decades, as has the time it takes to move products.

Isolation is just an excuse for the poor economic performance of Maine caused by other factors, and it's time we realized that fact.

Anonymous
New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

Cornell University has a nice comparison discussion on their website. Deals with many different heating fuels.

They list hardwood (20% moisture) as 24,000,000 BTU per cord, and 18,000,000 for pine.

Wood pellets are listed as 36,000,000 BTU per long tonne (2,200 pounds).

I paid $230 per US ton (2000 pounds) earlier this year, but paid $279 for my most recent ton (most of the extra price was for trucking from out west).

The $279 works out to 117,300 BTU per US Dollar.

The $185 per full cord of hardwood gives 129,700 BTU per US Dollar, or about 10% more heat per dollar versus pellets at $279.

At present prices it looks like I am paying about 10% more for the ease of pellets. Not a bad trade, but the pellet stove may be a bit noiser and doesn't work at all when the electricity fails ...

Doug Thomas
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

As an example of reduced transportation costs in 1978 I took a load of potatoes from Mars Hill to Tampa, FL. The the rate was $3.25 a hundred pounds. Using an inflation calculator in 2005 the rate would have to have been $9.90 per hundred to keep up with inflation.

The last I checked the rate was $5.00 or roughly half the 1978 rate in real dollars.

democrat
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

Thanks, George. That's helpful.

Bob MacGregor
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

It's not where the wood grows, but where the sawdust is. In order to make wood pellets you need large quantities of consistent hardwood sawdust, which is dried at the pellet plant to a uniform moisture content. At this time Maine simply does not have an adequate number of hardwood mills to feed such a plant, unless the pellet mill can pay more than the paper mills.

Upstate NY and the Jaffrey, NH area are much closer to the resource. There is a large dry sawdust supplier in Quebec that feeds several pellet mills as well as Correct Deck in Biddeford. Quebec is also a good resource, but they have lost hardwood mills as well over the last several years.

It doesn't make sense to start with raw wood, so you have to be near a large enough source of waste (sawdust) to make it profitable. Right now that would be tough to do in Maine.

Anonymous
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Cantdog
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Title Correction

I think the title of this thread should be "New York wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S."

Bob MacGregor
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

It is extremely difficult to compete with a pulp mill in Brazil for the simple fact that the trees can be grown quickly and uniformly in that climate, and enough pulp wood can be grown locally to keep a mill going indefinitely. While there may be differences in the pulp, by virtue of location Brazil has a huge advantage.

Cash
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

[quote="polisci"]If I remember correctly, one of the largest factors for something like this is the transportation costs. Due to the fact that we are an "isolated" state it makes it difficult to transport at an economical rate. Maine is the only contiguous state in the nation that borders only one other state. Actually, we share a greater border with Canada than our own country. More needs to be done for intermodal transportation.[/quote]

Hmm. Transportation costs from faraway Maine, huh? That must explain why kitchenware from China and softwood lumber from Canada are so much cheaper than American-made products.

Bob MacGregor
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

It's not the transportation, it's the resource. Trees do not equal pellets, you need a source of sawdust to make it work.

Country
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New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

While George reports that Cornell lists pellets at 36 million btu per long ton, I believe the correct figure is 18 million btu per ton of 2000#. If that's true, then pellets selling for $300/ton work out to $16.67 per million btu. (Most cost calculations are done by $ per million btu.) Here are some comparisons -

Pellets at $300/ton = $16.67 per million btu.

#2 Heating oil at $2.30/gallon = $16.54/million btu.

Firewood at $200/cord (and 20 million btu/cord) = $10.00/million btu.

Propane (LPG) at $2.00/gallon = $21.98/million btu.

Electricity at $0.15/kWh = $43.96/million btu.

But, efficiency calculations have to be factored in as well. Pellets, heating oil, and propane all burn at about 80% or greater efficiency, while firewood in most new stoves is probably 60-70% depending on the stove and the moisture content of the wood. Electricity is at 100%

Anonymous
New Hampster Wood pellet plant believed largest in U.S.

While I don't have the full range of cost components; for roughly a $30 ton of chips/hour; my biorefinery will produce about 1,280,000 BTU/hr or 375 KW.

The only other calculation is that wood gassification extracts 30% more energy than burning from wood; and has fewer processing--the cost of producing sawdust is high; and transportation costs for the final energy product, i.e. bio-gas or electricity.

Nor does it have the environmental objections. There is a campaign on to ban outdoors bio-mass boilers of any kind that the DEP Commissioner, of course, is sympathetic to. The woman leading it can best be characterized as the Cindy Sheehan of bio-mass burning opponents.

Other adantages is the bio-refineries can use other waste agricultural feed stock, like prunings and land clearing debris and LEAVES!

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