08 September 2010

Over several years each European country has had its own fuel pellet standards – German DIN, Austrian O-Norm etc. In 2010, the new all-European standard ENplus 14961-2 had to start functioning, whereby a whole procedure of certification of producers, suppliers and traders has been elaborated. Russian producers of pellets have been waiting for the rules of standardization to become more strict. However, today this standard is being used so far only in Germany, sometimes also in Austria.

Traders and consumers from other European countries (for example, Danemark, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Norway) reluctantly reply to the questions concerning the necessity of the ENplus certification, pointing out that it is not an issue for them. Of course, the listed countries mostly use industrial pellets, therefore the indicated certificate does not concern them, as it is meant for consumer pellets. However, they also do not use the newly introduced all-European standard for industrial pellets – the EN-B. A more essential issue in the Northern Europe is the sustainable origin of wood used for production of the pellets. And more restrictions should be expected from this part.
So where does the ENplus standard function? Mostly the ENplus certification is required to sell pellets in Germany. According to the director of the German pellet institute (DEPI) M. Bentele, the ENplus marking on the pellet package certifies that the pellet is of high quality. According to DEPI, today in Germany over half of the consumer pellets, or 1,7 million tons, have been certified. And it’s not the limit. The boom of certification is expected in the middle of the heating season.
Among those who have requested certification is the renowned pellet producing company German Pellets. “The policy of German Pellets is primarily directed towards sustaining of a high quality of production. That is why we have decided to get the ENplus certification as soon as it was possible. I am sure that in the upcoming years ENplus will become popular also in other European countries. We want to show to our clients that certified pellets equal to quality and reliability. Some clients still keep on seeking cheaper pellets, and afterwards, having had bad experience with the quality, still come to us,” – reported the Director of the German Pellets Marketing department Michael Walewski at a press-conference at Interpellets in Stuttgart.
So, does it mean that certified pellets cost more? The Director of DEPI assures that it’s not the case. The cost of certification is not a secret. Presently producers or traders pay 6 cents per ton of pellets for certification, which is a minute sum of money. However, this price will be anyway paid by the German consumer.
However, Europe is looking forward to unification of the norms and standards, and it is a positive trend. Because, after all, European economic agents have to act based on similar standards.




Tatiana Shipkova, The Bioenergy International Russia

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