An update of the ENplus scheme, leading to the publication of the Handbook version 3 (replacing Handbook 2.0), has been carried out for three main reasons:
Publication of ISO 17225-2 standards
Within the Handbook 2.0, the threshold values of the different quality classes were based on the European standard EN 14961-2 even though some of the requirements were stricter in the ENplus scheme (e.g. Ash melting behaviour mandatory for ENplus).
In 2014 the ISO 17225-2, a new international standard replacing the European standard EN 14961-2, has been published. As a consequence, the threshold values of the different quality classes had to be adapted to this new standard in the Handbook version 3 (Part 3: Pellet Quality Requirements). Also in the Handbook version 3 some threshold values are stricter than the standard (all the differences are listed in the Handbook version 3 Part 3 but also in the list of main differences below).
Evolution of the pellet sector
The pellet market has developed rapidly during the last years moving from a regional market to a globalised market. This evolution of the pellet sector has led to the expansion of the international trade and the creation of new production setups and new professions.
The international trade is bringing more and more handling of pellets in complex supply chains. All these additional steps are presenting a risk for pellet quality that had to be addressed by an update of the ENplus scheme.
The evolution of the pellet sector is also creating new pellet plant setups and new professions:
The bagging of the pellets can be separated from the production site with having traders bagging themselves the pellets.
Companies offering services in the pellet sector (bagging, delivery, storage, etc.) without owning the pellets appeared on the market.
Some complex business setups have been created for trading pellets.
All these new developments of the pellet sector supply chain that can affect the pellet quality had to be covered by the new Handbook version 3.
General improvement of the ENplus scheme
Over the years, it appeared that some regulations of the scheme deserved more clarity. Among other changes some additional terms had to be defined, the category of bagged pellets was too wide, the application procedure of producers and traders had to be more detailed, the external control (and the consequences of it) had to be enhanced, the global certification of traders had to be revised. All these issues have been tackled within the revision of the ENplus scheme. The main changes to the previous version are presented here.