Waste wood trends in Sweden and Europe

Things are going to change.

Mario Montevirgen of the Swedish waste wood specialist Falkenbergs Returflis is also convinced that a lot will change in some EU member states in the course of the next one to two years. He sees different resource-political strategies as characteristic for this: While Germany is looking for a new orientation after the introduction of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the United Kingdom and France are focusing on new capacities for biomass plants. In the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, there are signs of a strengthening of the engineered wood industry, while Sweden favours the expansion of its waste wood plants.

According to Mario Montevirgen, Germany wants to increase its domestic waste wood volume from 7.7 million tonnes to over eight million tonnes by 2021. The extent to which the capacity of 6.5 million tonnes (plus 1.5 million tonnes planned) is to be changed depends not least on the extent to which exports to the engineered wood industries in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States are expanded. Sweden wants to increase its domestic tonnage from 1.1 to 1.3 million tonnes, expand its energy plant capacity from 2.0 million tonnes in 2016 to 2.4 million tonnes in 2021, and is not averse to an increase to the 0.8 million tonnes of imported waste wood.

Norway does not expect any significant changes in view of the expansion of its domestic tonnage from 0,7 to 1,0 million tonnes, exports from 0,4 to more than 0,6 million tonnes and the still open plant capacities. Unlike the United Kingdom, which intends to increase its domestic treatment capacity from 3.7 to 4.3 million tonnes by 2021 and to increase its capacity from 1.6 million tonnes (plus 1.4 million tonnes planned) to 4.5 million tonnes. In return, exports are to be reduced from 0.6 to less than 0.3 million tonnes.

Sweden is looking for a supply partner

As a traditional importer of waste, Sweden is affected by external factors and is dependent on them. For example, the demand for forest chips is expected to change drastically so that imports from overseas have to be considered. As the United Kingdom and France have increased local demand for waste wood due to new plant capacities, their export volumes are also being reduced, so that new supplier countries have to be sought.

The capacity expansions in the Eastern European engineered wood industry are reducing export volumes to Sweden. And finally, other biomass plants can compensate for their bottlenecks with waste wood, which has an impact on demand and prices. On the other hand, according to Mario Montevirgen, Germany would have had to good reasons and new opportunities to trade in to enter waste wood exports with Sweden.

We expressly thank the editorial staff of EU-Recycling Magzins, who published this article in issue 11/2018, page 30. You can download the article in German here: EU-Recycling_11-2018-Altholz.

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