Purchasing biomass fuel
All biomass fuels are not equal. Heat plant are designed for specific fuels. When buying new heat plant first establish what fuels are likely to be available through the up to 30 year life of the plant. Once you know what fuel may be available then chose plant suitable for that fuel. (In most localities it is very highly likley that biomass sources will change throughout the 30 year life of the plant. This must be taken into account when chosing a plant type.)
Fuel is characterised in types and grades.
- Technical Guide 1 – Solid Biofuel Classification Guidelines sets out the types and grade descriptions that are recommended. If buyers and sellers use this same terminology then there is less likely to be future problems.
- Technical Guide 05: Standard methods for verifying the quality of solid biofuels sets out methods for measuring and testing that the fuel being deliverd meets the fuel specification for that heating facility.
- Technical Guide 06: Contracting to deliver quality wood fuel to customers provides guidance for selling and buying wood fuel including a model sale and purchase agreement. Trouble free fuel supply depends on good fuel supply contracts.
Things go wrong when best practice is not followed.
- Five common areas where problems occur are outlined in 5 common mistakes in wood procurement.
- Contracts for biomass fuel longer than a one year term will generally include an escalation formula for annual adjustment of price.