Faced with the crisis, pellets arrive in very large quantities near Rouen

Faced with the crisis, pellets arrive in very large quantities near Rouen
Faced with the crisis, pellets arrive in very large quantities near Rouen

By Mathieu Normand
Published on 23 Sep 22 at 7:10

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A new import unit dedicated to the bagging of wood pellets and bulk was inaugurated in Grand-Couronne (Seine-Maritime) by TotalEnergies on Thursday September 22, 2022. (©MN/76actu)

TotalEnergies inaugurated a new wood pellet bulk and bagging unit at Grand Crown (Seine-Maritime), Thursday September 22, 2022. The latter, set up in partnership with Sea Invest, aims to strengthen supplies by increasing the processing capacity on this site from 25,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes by three years. These pellets will be distributed in an area of ​​200 km around Rouen.

This import-based equipment should make it possible “to secure part of the resource and satisfy a demand”, according to the general manager of TotalEnergies Marketing France, François Boussagnol. This demand for pellets has exploded in recent months, to the point that it is sometimes difficult to find them. Prices also soared, going “from around 300 euros to 600 euros per ton” in one year.

“No shortage”

The market situation is partly explained by a strong enthusiasm for wood heating. According to the national association of wood pellet heating professionals Propellet, sales of pellet stoves increased by 41% last year, and those of pellet boilers by 120% nationally.

The tense energy context linked to the crisis in Ukraine also plays a role. “A certain number of consumers are afraid of lack in this particular period, notes François Boussagnol. We are trying to see with Sea invest to speed up supplies and bagging. “There is however” no shortage “according to him, who prefers to speak of” temporary tension “.

A sector in full development

The pellets from the Grand-Couronne site are imported “from sustainable forests” in Northern Europe. They are dumped into a hopper, where the large particles and any ferrous elements are sorted, before being sent to bulk trucks handling large volumes or to the bagging section.

It is in the latter that 15 kg bags are produced, generally dedicated to individuals. About 130 pallets comprising 70 bags, or about one ton per pallet, are produced every day using an automated process. They are then sent to the 25 Total sales outlets in the region. “At the level of the supply chain, we go from the dowser in northern Europe, to the delivery of end customers, underlines the president of Sea Invest Nils Beneton. It’s really a nice project. »

TotalEnergies is one of the main players in the wood energy market. “It’s not a main activity, but it is growing,” says François Boussignol. The use of this energy is one of the sustainable alternatives generating local activity. “89% of the French market is supplied by local producers. It remains to be seen whether the many projects expected to hatch in the coming years in the sector will have a positive effect on the price for consumers.

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The article is in French

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