Massive Russian pellet plant to start producing
February 3, 2011
By Argus Media
Feb. 3, 2011, London, UK – Russian pulp and paper company Vyborgskaya Cellulose will finally start production at its 900,000 tonne/year wood pellet plant.
Feb. 3, 2011, London, UK – Russian pulp and
paper company Vyborgskaya Cellulose will finally start production at its
900,000 tonne/year wood pellet plant in the western Russian city of Vyborg.
Global forestry marketing firm Ekman, which is the exclusive sales agent for
the plant, says that several problems with the plant have been rectified and
they expect full commissioning to take place later in February.
“The plant will be fully operational by the
end of February,” Ekman vice-president of bioenergy Arnold Dale told Argus. “We
produced our first pellets last week and we were delighted with the
specifications and product.”
The new facility, which is being built near
the border with Finland, represents a substantial rise in global pellet
production and will be one of the largest plants in the world. It was hoped the
plant would be operational ahead of schedule, but Dale says that building such
a large plant brought up unexpected challenges.
“We had problems with the wood yard in
particular and have spent time fine-tuning,” Dale says. “Debarking and chipping
issues arose, and the bulk density of the product was not right. But it seems
that because we tried to have it operational early, and have eventually only
overrun by two weeks, people in the market assumed we had major problems. You
have to expect a few small problems when building a plant of this size, but the
project has only taken a year to complete.”
Ekman purchased one spot cargo from the
Baltic region to fill an open position. But the firm said icebreakers will
arrive next week to clear the channel at Vyborg, and exports should commence
during this quarter.
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