Variability of energy woodchips and their economic effects
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The main aim of the work is to assess physical parameters of forest woodchips and their impact on the prices achieved by the supplier in transactions with a power plant. During fragmentation of logging residue, high content of green matter and contaminants negatively impacts the quality parameters that serve as basis for settlements. The analysis concerns data on the main parameters – water content, fuel value, sulphur and ash content – from 252 days of deliveries of forest chips to a power plant. The deliveries were realised from forested areas on an average about 340 km from the plant. Average water content and the resultant fuel value of forest chips was within 27–47% and 8.7–12.9 GJ×Mg−1 (appropriately), respectively. They depend on the month in which they are delivered to the power plant. The threshold values for the above-mentioned parameters are set by the plant at a real level and the suppliers have no problems with meeting them. The parameter that is most frequently exceeded is ash content (11.5% of cases). The settlement system does not differentiate on the basis of the transport distance but gives possibility to lower the settlement price when the quality parameters are not met but provides no reward for deliveries with parameters better than the average ones. On the basis of results obtained, it was calculated that average annual settlement price is lower than the contract price by about 0.20 PLN×GJ−1, which in case of the analysed company may translate into an average daily loss of about 700 PLN.
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