The Baltic ForBio app is a decision support tool for analyzing production costs and profitability of harvesting forest residues for energy.

App that analyses profitability of harvesting forest residue

The app works in two steps. First the user needs to provide information regarding the stand such as standing volume and tree composition so that the total amount of residues can be estimated. Step two calculates various costs along the production chain of residue including harvesting costs, forwarding, chipping, and transporting. The user provides different types of information like the load capacity of the forwarder, cost per working hour and distance to roadside. Revenues are then calculated, and the results can be saved as a pdf or printed.

An example

Final felling is to be carried out in a 90-year-old stand. The growing stock of timber in the stand is measured to be 375 m3, consisting of 85% spruce and 15% birch. The total amount of logging residues is estimated (by the App) to be 33.3 ton dry biomass (corresponding to 160 MWH). Suppose that 75% of these residues are extracted for energy use and the average forwarding distance to roadside is 400 meters. When a forwarder with load capacity 16 solid cubic meters is used, the forwarding time consumption is estimated (by the App) to be 4.17 hours. Given a cost of 950 SEK/h for the forwarder, it is estimated that the cost for forwarding is 3959 SEK. Suppose the collected biomass is sold at roadside at a price 150 SEK/MWH, the total revenue is 18 026 SEK, and the profit of harvesting the logging residues is then 14 067 SEK.

The app also enables cost and profitability analysis for biomass harvest in connection with precommercial thinning and commercial thinning. In addition, the app enables comparison between selling the harvested biomass at roadside and at plant gate.

Screen shot of the app

Figure 1. Estimation of biomass yield in the Baltic ForBio app.

Screen shot from the app

Figure 2. Costs and profitability of harvesting forest residues the Baltic ForBio app.


G15-h: Working hour including breaks for up to 15 minutes

The app was developed within the Baltic ForBio project.

Learn more at the project web page



Peichen Gong,