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Energy wood resources availability and delivery cost in Northwest Russia

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Availability of solid by-products from wood harvesting and mechanical wood processing was estimated as sources for energy production based on recent actual harvesting, sawmill, and plywood production in Northwest Russia at 30 million m3. Nearly 70% of the energy wood, 20 million m3, was from harvesting, consisting of non-industrial round wood, unused branches and tops, defective wood resulting from logging, and spruce stumps removed after final felling. Over 30%, 10 million m3, of the available volume was from sawmills and plywood mills, i.e. wood chips, sawdust, and bark. Due to current low utilization of energy wood for bioenergy in Northwest Russia, delivery cost of energy wood to the potential border-crossing points in Finland was analyzed for three means of transport: railways, roadways, and waterways. Nearly 28 million m3 of the energy wood could be transported by railways and 2 million m3 by roadways and waterways. The costs were lowest by roadways from the nearby border areas (10–15 €/m3 for wood processing by-products and 16–22 €/m3 for forest chips). The costs by railways varied from 12 to 27 €/m3 on shorter distances to 47–58 €/m3 on longer distances. Waterway transportation was the most expensive, about 28–48 €/m3. It should be emphasized that we have estimated availability and delivery costs of energy wood, not prices which are defined by the market based on supply and demand.
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Keywords: GIS; logging residues; transport infrastructure; wood chips; wood processing by-products

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Finnish Forest Research Institute, Yliopistokatu 6, 80101, Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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