20 March 2010

Dr. Olga Rakitova, The National Bioenergy Union, Executive director.

"Russia owns the largest natural gas, the second largest coal and the third largest oil reserves in the world. Russia is the third largest energy user and the largest producer of oil and gas in the world. Russia owns 23 % of the world’s forest resources. At the same time biofuel started to play a role in the country’s economy few years ago".


The Prime-Minister of Russian Federation was signed the FIRST document in Renewable  energy in Russia: “The main directions of state policy in the field of energy effectiveness increase for electricity on a base of renewable sources for the period till 2020” in 8th of January 2009. By the end of 2020 about 4,5% of electricity in Russia should be received out of renewable energy (including bioenergy). The capacity of power stations using RWE should be more than 25 MWh.

Russia was declared the CO2 reduction by 2020 for 25% to the 1990 level in December 2009. One of the most growing biofuel sectors in Russia is pellet industry. The number of pellet plants in increasing in Russia. This country could be the biggest pellet producer in Europe in the near future. First half of the biggest pellet plant in Europe will be opened by Russian Vyborgskaya Cellolose near the Finish border in 2010, with the capacity of 500 000 tons in the first step and another 500 000 tons to follow.

The pellet export is still dominated in Russia. The prices are going up in 2009. Companies which export pellets feel themselves rather comfortable compare to 2007-2008. Devaluation of Rubble (it dropped down on 10 units) marks up the revenue in Rubbles while domestic costs don’t grow.

The main harbors for pellets in Russia are St.Petetsburg, Ust-Luga, Petrozhavodsk. Some pellets are exported though ports in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Klaipeda (Lithiania), Liepaya, Vetspils (Latvia), Paldiski (Estonia), Sillamae (Estonia), Tallinn (Estonia).

More than 750 000 tons of pellets were produced in Russian in 2008. About 1 000 000 tons of pellets are produced per year by the end of 2009. The production capacity of pellet plants was more than 1 200 000 tons per year in 2008. The capacity is more than 1 700 000 (and even up to 2 000 000 tons) in 2009. We expect than the production capacity could be 3 000 000 tons per year in 2010. New big plants are being constructed in Russia. The biggest pellet plant in Europe is being constructed in the North-West Russia. The annual capacity will be 1 000 000 tons. The biofuel production is increasing in Russia very rapidly. Other plants with annual capacities of 150 000 - 500 000 t/y will be installed in 2010.

Domestic market for fuel pellets keeps growing in Russia however it is still young. About 30% of produced pellets are consumed inside country by the end of 2009. We said at the beginning of 2008 that “it is too absurd to assume that pellet production will go bankrupt because of the European warm winters, as long as Russia has cold winters and a demand for heating facilities”…Thus two warm European winters helped to develop the internal market in Russia because the domestic prices became more attractive and boiler producers became more active.

Main growth contributors for Russian domestic market are:
- private boiler-house owners – production enterprises, warehouses and logistics centres
switching to pellets to decrease fuel costs and improve heat supply reliability
- municipal boiler houses
- private house owners
As a conclusion it should be said that the Russian pellet industry is developing, the number of pellet plants and production are increasing very rapidly. The biggest pellet plant with 1 000 000 annual capacity will be installed near Finish border in 2010. Other big plants with annual capacities of 150 000 – 500 000 tons of pellets will start running in 2010- 2011. Utilization of all renewable energy resources in Russia is less than 3% at the moment, but it will be increased thanks to new Russian declaration of 20-25% reduction of emissions of CO2. Ecological, social, economical problems of the region could be solved due to the work of the National unions as The National Bioenergy Union which was organized in Russian in 2007. We expect the organization of serious pellet industry in Russia soon.


Raw wood customs


The custom code/



Production Name



From July, 1, 2007,






From April, 1, 2008,





From January 1, 2009, percent (is declined due to the crises till 2011)


From January 1, 2011, percent


4403 20 110 1/Raw wood
20%,but not less than10 Euro for 1m3
25%, but not less than15 Euro for 1 m3
80%,but not less than50 Euro for 1 m3
80%, but not less than50 Euro for 1 m3