Playing with Fire: Wood pellets, fires and explosions

Fires and explosions at biomass power infrastructure are common occurrences. The two documents linked below were put together by PT-RAPS, Port Talbot Residents Against Power Stations, and list 76 reported pellet fires and wood dust explosions over a four year period, between March 2008 and August 2012.

News articles and reports of fires & explosions

Spreadsheet listing fires & explosions

The documents above only cover pellet and wood dust fires – woodchipping plants have also experienced similar accidents. There have also been many reports of fires and explosions since 2012, including:

November 2012: Explosion at 600 megawatt coal/biomass facility in Nijmegen, Netherlands

December 2012: Fire at Vattenfall power station in Copenhagen, Denmark

September 2013: Sawdust explosion at pellet plant, New Zealand

October 2013: Fire at Port of Tyne wood pellet storage facility

November 2013: Fire at Fitchburg pellet plant, USA

The Energy Justice Network’s Biomass Monitor has also reported on numerous industry fires and explosions in recent years – up to May 2013 (when the research was conducted), fires and/or explosions had occurred at 22 industrial biomass incinerators, whilst over 45 wood pellet plants and 20 wood products mills had experienced fires of varying levels of impact.