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First international certification for woodchips and hog fuel launched

Bioenergy Europe, previously known as AEBIOM, has launched GoodChips, the first international quality certification scheme for woodchips and hog fuel.
“The creation of the GoodChips certification responds to a long-standing demand from the industry,” says Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of Bioenergy Europe.

Bioenergy Europe has launched GoodChips, the first international quality certification scheme for woodchips and hog fuel.

The new scheme which was first announced by Bioenergy Europe in July 2018, is expected to become the sector’s common standard on quality, ramping up consumer trust while helping cut production costs.

The booming of the market in recent years brought in all kinds of new players, and the need for a trustworthy, independent way to distinguish companies implementing best practices and focussing on quality products is now quite palpable, said Jean-Marc Jossart,

In Europe, for instance, woodchips currently represent 50 percent of all solid biomass fuel used for energy purposes, making it one of the most popular commodities in this sector. Yet, and even though it has been traded worldwide for decades, no certification scheme had been created so far with an international scope.

The market has been basically developing without a proper quality framework, and GoodChips aims at correcting this structural flaw, summarised Jean-Marc Jossart.

The creation of GoodChips is the result of an extensive consultation process with the various components of the woodchip sector, from producers to traders, through boiler manufacturers and consumer associations. The outcome is a comprehensive, 12-class scheme – 8 for woodchips and 4 for hog fuel – addressing every producer and end-user profile, from industrial to domestic use.

Rejected pulpwood and stumps at a terminal – solid biomass feedstock for woodchips and hog fuel respectively.

According to Bioenergy Europe, the creation of GoodChips is also good news from an end user’s perspective, as the scheme is expected to greatly simplify their choice by providing independent and trustworthy information about the products, that can easily be matched against their appliance’s specifications.

Led and managed by the team behind the success of ENplus, the world-leading wood pellet certification, GoodChips also operates as a third-party certification scheme. In practice, this means that the conformity assessment is done by external certification bodies, accredited and listed by GoodChips, who perform their duties in complete independence, not only from GoodChips International Management but also from each other.

With a “balanced and progressive” fee structure, GoodChips is designed to encompass the variety of profiles active in the industry and does not limit itself to the biggest players only. A fixed fee of EUR 500 will apply to certified volumes lower than 5 000 tonnes, with a standard fee of  EUR 0,10 per tonne for larger ones.

Discounts will then apply for volumes larger than 40 000 tonnes certified output, and again 80 000 tonnes or more. Moreover, companies joining the scheme in 2018 and 2019 will receive an additional 30 percent discount valid through to 2021.

Bioenergy Europe has launched GoodChips, the first international
quality certification scheme for woodchips and hog fuel (graphic
courtesy Bioenergy Europe).

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