Japan imported about 3 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2021, up from 2.028 million in 2020, according to a report filed in late December with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Global Agricultural Information Network.
According to the report, the Japan Natural Resources and Energy Agency (ANRE) released data showing that 201 woody biomass power plants in Japan were producing 2,888 megawatts (MW) of electricity at the end of March. 2021. The agency had approved 193 additional power plants. biomass power plants from that date. Together, the existing and approved biomass power plants would bring the total national operational capacity to 7,394 MW.
Japan imported about 2.02 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2020. About 58% of this volume came from Vietnam, including 29% from Canada. The country received its first commercial shipment of US wood pellets in January 2021. According to the report, Enviva expects to export more than 3 million metric tons of wood pellets to Japan annually by 2025. If it was achieved, this volume would make the United States the leading supplier of the Japanese wood pellet market.
Japan currently has 135 domestic pellet factories, up from 137 in 2020. Domestic production is estimated at 150,000 metric tons for 2021, up slightly from 149,000 metric tons in 2020.
In addition to wood pellets, Japan also imported about 4.02 million metric tons of palm kernel husks for power generation in 2021, up from 3.396 million metric tons in 2020.
A full copy of the report is available on the USDA FAS GAIN website.