With the trend of green consumption, the demand for wood pellets will continue to rise in the future, experts said.
According to Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of Phu Tai Bioenergy JSC in the south central province of Binh Dinh, Vietnam currently has more than 80 companies specialising in the production and export of wood pellets.Companies located in the central region mainly export their products to the Japanese market, while those in the south ship to the Republic of Korea.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted the gas supply from Russia to European countries, thus providing a chance for wood pellets from Vietnam to enter the European market, he told Nong Nghiep Viet Nam [Vietnam Agriculture] newspaper.
Phong said in the long term, Vietnamese companies plan to use other input materials than wood from planted forests, adding that they plan to use elephant grass, a tufted perennial grass that can grow in stands up to 4m high, as a raw material in the production of woodchips, he said.
He went on to say that if elephant grass is effectively used as a raw material for the production of wood pellets, the industry will no longer worry about the raw materials and farmers’ income will be improved as well.
Masayoshi Pelle Ito, deputy director of the energy and chemical division of Itochu Vietnam Co. Ltd, said the exports of wood pellets to Japan have increased in recent years.
In 2021, Vietnam exported 1.6 million tonnes of wood pellets to Japan and the figure rose to 2.5 million tonnes last year. It is expected to reach 4-5 tonnes from 2025, he said.
Masayoshi noted that the world tends to use wood pellets to replace coal in thermal power generation to reduce carbon emissions, thus, the demand for wood pellets will be extremely high in the future.