On 30 July 2019, the turnover of Baltpool biomass exchange exceeded EUR 300 million starting from the date of establishment. The total amount of biomass sold at the exchange starting from the summer of 2013 is 1.92 million TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent). Over this period, 350,000 vehicles of biomass were delivered to buyers; if all these vehicles are lined up, the line length would equal the distance from Vilnius to Madrid and back.
In the time period from the start of operation of the exchange, the price of biomass was between 100 and 300 EUR/TOE, and a total of 42,000 transactions were concluded.
“The establishment of the exchange has created in Lithuania a market for weekly transactions, and sales in this market over the entire time period account for 40% of the total sales of biomass at the exchange. This simple method of concluding transactions and the high liquidity of the exchange enable market participants to conclude short-term transactions with ease – similarly to the situation in the electricity and gas markets. In other countries, short-term transactions only account for a very small market share and those transactions are incidental,” said Vaidotas Jonutis, Head of the Trade Division at Baltpool.
In Lithuania, the heat produced using biomass accounts for approximately 70% in the centralised supply, i.e. the figure is similar to that of the Scandinavian countries. Thanks to the orientation of centralised heating towards renewable sources, our country has easily implemented the EU 2020 requirements to achieve 23% of renewable sources in the energy balance.
In 2014–2018, the annual turnover of the exchange increased from EUR 12 million to EUR 86 million. According to Mr Jonutis, it is worth noting that, in 2014, only 68,000 TOE biomass was sold, but the prices of biomass were high at that time, whereas 2015 was dominated by a different trend – heat producers acquired more woodchips (292,000 TOE) for a low price (approx. 135 EUR/TOE). Since the introduction, in 2016, of the obligation to acquire 100% of biomass via the exchange, more than 400,000 TOE or 4.6 million MWh of biomass is purchased via the exchange annually.
After the increase of the price of biomass last year (on average approx. 200 EUR/TOE), the turnover of the exchange amounted to EUR 86 million. The turnover is unlikely to exceed this figure this year, since the dominating price of woodchips purchased for the forthcoming heating season is approximately 156 EUR/TOE and the amount of biomass purchased for the forthcoming season already accounts for nearly 50% of the total required annual amount.
If the completed long-term transactions are considered, the approaching heating season will be one of the cheapest in the history of the exchange.