The Green Certificate Scheme in Belgium contributed to stimulating the demand for solid biofuels, including pellets, for electricity generation in (co)combustion in Belgium which is largely satisfied by pellet imports.
Electrabel (GDF Suez) is the major consumer of industrial wood pellets in Belgium with a large demand in Les Awirs (80 MW, 100 % biomass), 4 co-firing facilities and a number of smaller units. The total demand for industrial pellets was around 800,000 tons in 2008. Electrabel states to use 1 million tons in 2009 and expects to increase the use to 3 million tons until 2014.
In contrast to the Netherlands, the consumption of high quality pellets for household heating does play a certain role in Belgium. In 2008, private consumption in Wallonia is estimated at 40,000 tons (ValBiom). The total consumption in the residential sector in Belgium might have been around 120,000 tons. Federal tax reductions and a grant system in Wallonia promote the development of this sector which was insignificant in 2006 and grew strongly, especially in 2008. Further growth can be expected especially in the pellet stove sector, stoves being the main pellet appliance in total numbers in the past.
Domestic pellet production in Belgium currently cannot satisfy this huge demand. The largest part of the industrial pellets used is imported, among others from Germany. In 2009, Electrabel signed a three-year pellet supply deal with Plantation Energy Australia worth € 39 million.
While in 2006, only minor amounts of pellets were produced in Belgium, significant production capacities were installed in 2007 and 2008. In Wallonia, around 210,000 tons were produced by 6 producers in 2008, of which around 60,000 tons were dedicated to the residential market. A number of additional production plants are planned (ValBiom).
Please refer to the Publication section for a comprehensive report on the Belgian pellet market.