End of Russian wood pellets means skyrocketing bills for biomass boiler owners Business

Homes and businesses heated by biomass boilers face skyrocketing costs as the supply of wood pellets is disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is a major exporter of burnt wood pellets for heating, but UK importers are now scrambling to find alternative supplies.

Thousands of homes and businesses have switched to wood pellet heating systems in recent years, encouraged by government support.

Prices in the UK are thought to have risen by 25-40% to £385 a tonne, in line with costs in Europe.

Mark Lebus, chairman of the UK Pellet Council, said the sector was working on “immediate and alternative measures to restructure its global supply chain, working with overseas partners to help ensure a continuous supply of biomass wood pellets. for UK customers”.

He added: “Wood pellets will no longer come from Russia or be imported from Russian producers. Given past levels of Russian exports, this will of course have an impact on global supply, not only for the UK but also for other countries who are all now competing for the same premium product from similar suppliers.

“With the UK and international sanctions in place, we estimate that total European production could be reduced by around 12% to 15%, so there could be some price increases in the short term due to the current situation and the increased competitiveness between countries.”

Most homes in the UK are heated by gas boilers, but gas costs have also skyrocketed over the past six months to around five times long-term averages.

Dual-fuel gas and electric bills are set to soar by more than 50% next month when the price cap on energy bills is raised to an average of £1,971.

Lebus said the government should try to boost domestic production of wood pellets for heating to reduce import dependency and create new jobs.

“The UK cannot supply the volumes required and so we are importing on a large scale and are being dragged into a growing energy crisis,” he said.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-13 17:08:43

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