Estimating Economic and Technical Availability of Wood for Energy Production in Northwest Russia

This study, funded by the European Foundation for Forest Research (Ponsse fund), aimed to estimate economic and technical production availability of energy wood in the Leningrad region by describing the area from different viewpoints (e.g. economical, political and production).

Due to the growing competition for fossil fuels and the need to mitigate climate change, nowadays more and more attention is paid to production of energy from wood. The growing production of wood based fuel in the European Union demands more raw materials, but the EU's timber industry faces lack of wood resources. This problem could be solved by the import of wood from other countries, such as the Russian Federation. However, new forest policy of the Russian government sets limitations for the export of unprocessed wood from the country and this forces European wood fuel producers to study Russia as a possible place for allocation of production facilities. Owing to its location and large forest area, the Leningrad region is a very promising area for supply of energy wood. In order to organize profitable and sustainable supply of energy wood, a comprehensive study of the chosen region from the economic, production and political points of view is needed. The main objectives of the study were:

  • to estimate technical and economic availability of energy wood including unutilized and low quality wood, wooden by-products and process residues;
  • to study possibilities of technology transfer by comparison of productivity, cost effectiveness and reliability of different supply chains based on the both Finnish and Russian machinery and technologies;
  • to describe business environment of wood fuel producers in the region;
  • to mark out main opportunities and challenges facing of the wood fuel producers;
  • to determine attitude of design makers in regional forestry to bioenergy.
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