Producer Hel Ved in Tromsø makes good money from high electricity prices, is constantly being sold for firewood and has driven up prices sharply.
A poster nailed to a stack of euro pallets that is the height of a man. “Sorry. All sold out. Now but wait before ».
– On Tuesday, we ran out of firewood. Then I write on our Facebook page, “Now it’s empty.” Then we have to fill up when we get more firewood, says Eric-Inge Larsen.
He owns and operates Hel Ved Company in Tromsø, which produces and sells firewood from the old landfill in Tromsdalen.
Larsen offers self-propelled firewood. He’s installed a video surveillance container at the landfill. It just goes ‘cool’.
– It’s a subjective choice. We are open until 9pm in the evening 365 days a year. People pick up firewood and lean over, pull the car what they should have.
If you want firewood, you have to pay
But the container is now empty of firewood. There was no small bag left, not even a small log. Everything has been sold. And prices are going up. On the door of the container price note. Stick Larsen on a new note with the number 80. Before he was 70, then 75.
– It’s too expensive. Customer price is NOK 80 for a bag of 40 kg of wood. That’s a lot. Larsen says and smiles.
– Prices are rising. In the last two deliveries, the purchase price has increased by NOK 5 per delivery per bag. Thus, the price from the supplier increased by 10 NOK per bag in a short time. Then I also have to set the price, says Larsen.
According to Larsen, timber is in great demand. The paper industry offers the price of birch. Then the producers of firewood must also increase the price.
– There is no problem in selling wood even if the price goes up. Electricity prices are high. Everything rises. If you want firewood, you have to pay. As you can see, it’s completely empty here, he says and points to the empty container.
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Electricity price drives wood
The massive demand for firewood is largely due to electricity prices, which fell to their highest level so far this year on Thursday of this week. Since then it has retreated a little.
The decline also continues on Saturday, according to the latest figures from energy exchange Nord Bull.
They show that the price of electricity in the areas around Oslo, Kristiansand and Bergen will be 1.45 NOK per kilowatt-hour. This complies with NOK 2.3 if you include fees and network rent. No additional charges will be added from the electricity company.
In central and northern Norway, the price will be around 45 øre per kWh – or 1.04 NOK with taxes.
E24 has mentioned several times recently that timber producers in eastern and western Norway are running out. But in the north, too, there is a rift around the logs.
Wood sales have exploded: – I’ve never found anything like this
Multiply the trading volume
Previously, a rehabilitation company was producing firewood at the old landfill in Tromsø.
When it was closed, Erik Inge Larsen took over all the equipment. Except for the electric dryer. It is believed that using electricity to dry wood at current electricity prices would be very costly.
– You took everything they had, rubble and crumbs. But the dryer I sold. Electrolytic drying of wood is very expensive. It costs nothing to dry.
Larsen started in Tromsø Vedsalg in 2018 and has doubled its turnover every year since then. Since he now takes over firewood production and can sell self-produced firewood, he hopes to get five million kronor in sales next year at his new company Hel ved. It should cover the expenses and salaries of five employees.
– There is a huge demand for firewood. Electricity price hike. We have had many colds. Wood gets bones on which he walks. I have very little to sell. Larsen says we have more next season.
– Lot is now empty
Among the timber producers that are completely empty of lumber is Christiania Fedforretting in Oslo. Steinar Halvorsen could have seen the sales spread further, but he still indicated that the season was over.
– There will be no more this season. He says the wood we’re selling now we actually ordered in February of last year.
Topic manager Øyvind Stranna Larsen at Norsk Ved – the professional forum for wood producers, tells E24 that there are no figures on how many producers are empty now.
Norway has a very large number of self-employed timber producers. The Norwegian Firewood Forum of Firewood Producers has about 2,500 members, but no one knows how many firewood producers are actually in the country. Larsen says the estimate is between 5,000 and 6,000.
– When there are so many, we cannot say that Norway came out of the woods. Much of it is empty now, no doubt about it. But there is a stock, even if it is difficult to get it now with such a huge demand.
It is also reported that some manufacturers are doing artificial drying, so the delivery season is over.
“Hear a good sound”
At Erik Inge Larsen in Tromsø, drying is done the old-fashioned way.
It is shown in a large plastic hall where there is a pallet on a pallet with logs spread out for drying. A stack of five-meter birch stumps is ready and sawn on one of the saws. The birch wood, with a dry interior, comes from Kirkesdalen in Målselv in the interior of Tromsø.
– Here are the discounts for next year. It is this year’s production that will dry out for a year.
Larsen receives two trailer loads a week to spread what amounts to firewood. The load capacity is 38 cubic metres. In the landfill outside the production hall, a pallet with a height of a meter is stacked above the pallet with drying firewood. The mounds are clearly visible from the access road to Tromsø.
– People drive and call and ask – “Do you have firewood?” I say we don’t have wood. We were sold to buy big bags of firewood. Our ones dry up for next season, Larsen says.
Electricity price continues to drop on Saturday
A trailer with Estonian banners rolls in front of the hall. He transports firewood to northern Norway and takes fish south.
Operations Director Sverre Svelarud comes in driving a wheeled bulldozer, picking up firewood from the trailer and loading pallets with bags of firewood into the container. Many customers buy 15-20 bags at a glance and they are loaded into the car. People with smaller apartments rarely buy more than five bags at a time, according to Larsen.
– Look, now we get new supplies. Now we have a 40 liter bag for sale, he says and tells us other lumber sellers in town buy from him when they are the lumber.
A dark SUV turns into the plaza, and a middle-aged man goes out to buy lumber in the cabin this weekend. Larsen picks up some records from one of the soon-to-be-sold suitcases.
– Hear the fine complaint. This is a good dry wood, says Eric Larsen, who takes birch logs and strokes them together.
When the wood is wet, the sound is darker, not too light and without sound, he says.
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