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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Characteristics of Swedish forest biomass terminals for energy

Kons, Kalvis; Bergström, Dan; Eriksson, Ulf; Athanassiadis, Dimitris; Nordfjell, Tomas


Forest biomass terminals provide diverse services to the forest industry: buffer storage, transfers of material between different modes of transport, raw material upgrading, etc. Terminals’ operational costs are highly sensitive to their layout and design. In order to design efficient terminals, it will be essential to understand the current state of forest terminals. To this end, a survey was sent out to companies operating forest terminals for energy in Sweden. The respondents were asked to provide information about their terminals’ areas, volumes of material handled, equipment, inventory methods and age. The terminals were grouped into four size classes according to their surface area. Most terminals covered<5ha; terminals in this class accounted for 65% of the country’s total terminal area. In addition, more than half the country’s total forest biomass output was handled at terminals of<2ha. The extent of paving at terminal size classes varied widely from 28 to 60%. Studied terminals handled 14 different assortments; on average, each individual terminal handled 2.4–4.0 assortments. The most widespread assortment was energy wood which accounted for 63% of the total volume handled. Larger terminals were older, often had better measurement equipment than smaller ones and relied more heavily on third parties to perform inventories. Conversely to big terminals, smaller terminals were more likely to have mobile machinery. Our results provide a detailed overview of the state of Sweden’s forest terminals and will be useful in the design of improved biomass terminals in future.


storage; equipment; energy wood; forest fuels; supply chain; survey

Published in

International Journal of Forest Engineering
2014, Volume: 25, number: 3, pages: 238-246