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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

The cost of closed terminals in the supply chain for a potential biorefinery in northern Sweden

Berg, Simon; Athanassiadis, Dimitris


Establishment of biorefineries for processing forest biomass in the Nordic region is extremely costly due to the high investment, running, and procurement costs. Procurement costs could be reduced by allowing all actors to open access to all available terminals in an area (regardless of ownership) and allowing trucks with higher gross weight. These impacts of changes were evaluated for deliveries of logging residue and energy wood chips to a potential biorefinery, from two suppliers in northern Sweden. Open access to all terminals reduced the terminal-procurement costs by 2-6% and the terminal-to-biorefinery transportation costs by 7-9%. When 74 tonnes trucks were used instead of 60 tonnes, the terminal-to-biorefinery transportation costs were reduced by 4 and 3%, in the current situation and with open access to terminals, respectively. However, the largest effect of open access was that the fraction of short-distance transportation to terminals and train transportation from terminals increased significantly. This indicated that open access to terminals and relatively heavy trucks between terminals and the biorefinery are preferable from both environmental and economic perspectives. Furthermore, the estimated cost saving was adequate and should allow the deliverers to pay a reasonable fee for the use of terminal space.


GIS; biomass terminals; wood logistics

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2020, Volume: 35, number: 3-4, pages: 165-176