Solid biomass fuel terminal concepts and a cost analysis of a satellite terminal concept

Matti Virkkunen, Miska Kari, Ville Hankalin, Jaakko Nummelin

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    This report presents three Nordic developing solid biomass fuel terminal concepts: a satellite terminal, a feed-in terminal and a fuel upgrading terminal. The most common current terminal concept, a transshipment terminal, is presented for comparison. There are several transshipment terminals (forest fuel storage and manufacturing sites) in operation in Finland, as almost every forest fuel procurement company stores some of its supplied wood fuel in storage sites with good connections to long-distance transport routes. This report presents the key terminal activities, terminal line-ups as flow charts, terminal area requirements based on terminal output and storage rotations. In addition to this, the report presents a detailed cost analysis on the fuel production costs in the satellite terminal concept with different terminal outputs (0.1, 0.3, 0.7 and 1 TWh) for different raw fuel materials (uncommercial stem wood, delimbed stem, whole tree, stumps and logging residues). The fuel produced in terminals with the lowest terminal costs was forest chips made from logging residues. The cost for logging residue chips with all operational and fixed terminal costs included, fed from a biomass truck and loaded to the transport vehicle as chips was 2.37 /MWh. In the smallest transshipment type terminal (0.1 TWh) the equivalent terminal costs were 3.31 /MWh due to the higher comminution costs and higher fixed costs in a smaller terminal. For delimbed stems the respective costs were almost equal, 2.33 /MWh (1 TWh terminal, chipped, direct feed to comminution) and 3.32 /MWh (0.1 TWh terminal, crushed, direct feed to crusher). The satellite terminal cost analysis reveals that a large scale terminal can be a cost efficient solution to an overly provincial forest biomass procurement challenge. If it is assumed that the cost for delimbed stems delivered to a terminal (loaded in a transport vehicle) is 13 /MWh (standing price + harvesting + transport) and the fuel delivery from a terminal costs 6/MWh (train, 600km), the total cost for fuel delivered from, for example, the Kainuu region to the Finnish metropolitan area is 21.7 /MWh to 22.4 /MWh (delimbed stem, 1 TWh, crushing, direct feed 2.7 /MWh or delimbed stem, through storage, crushed 3.4 /MWh). This cost at plant is 5-9% higher than the price paid for forest chips in Finland on average in June 2014 (Bioenergia-lehti 04/2014). It must be noted that the example above refers to a supply situation where wood fuel is transported 600km by railway, whereas the common supply distance for direct supply chains is 80-120km.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages69
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8221-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Technology


    • wood fuel logistics
    • supply
    • cost analysis
    • terminal concept


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