Developing an efficient and sustainable biomass supply chain in 5 European Nature Parks

BioEuParks project updates after 2 years from the beginning

February 10, 2015

Now arrived at about half of its operation, the project Bioeuparks takes stock of the situation about the activities carried out and about  the next steps in the program. Below is a summary and of the actions that are being developed by partners. Next appointment will be in Sila National Park for the fourth partners meeting.

Agency for Renewable Resources (GERMANY)
In  the Work Package 3, which is related to the DEVELOPMENT OF SOLID BIOMASS SUPPLY PATHWAY,  the Agency for Renewable Resources is setting the technical basis for facilitating the set-up and management of an environmentally and economically sustainable biomass supply chain. After benchmarking previous projects the research partners established a Common Supply Chain Guideline, which provides the nature parks with a roadmap of how to establish their supply chains. From this point all nature parks worked on their very own localized supply chain plans, leading them to a proper plan of how to set up an economical and sustainable biomass supply chain within their nature park. For the heating season 2014/15 all nature parks managed to establish a biomass heating plant, which is helping to cut CO2 emissions and thereby make a positive impact on the environment and the park itself.
The next step will be to monitor the sustainability criteria, agreed upon by the parks, and the successful establishment of the long-term biomass supply chain in each park. The goal is to have a Common Supply Chain Guideline, which can be used by other nature parks within the EU, in order to make the European heat supply more sustainable as well as help nature parks use their resources in a better way.

Sila National Park (ITALY)
As established by the project in the first phase, a Localized Supply Chain Plan has been drafted right after the specific meetings. The Plan it is needed to set up the supply chain for local biomasses to be used for heating systems in the structures of the Park (Park house, CTA headquarters, local Museum, etc.).
To completion of the first phase the Park has prepared an invitation for the supply of pellets, which must be coming from the forests within the Park or from less than 50 km, that will be used for boilers  in the Parks facilities and will replace the old GPL boilers.
The actors involved in the activation of the supply chain will be the stakeholders who participated in the specific meetings, in particular a forest enterprise, a forest owner and a service provider will be engaged.
The role of the Sila National Parks will be the monitoring of all the steps, also eventually running accredited tests of the product supplied for consistency criteria. The Park will also check all the processing steps in the woods and during the production of pellets. Each visit will be reported and countersigned by the supplier.
In the second phase of the project, an improvement of the short chain will be launched, involving tourism operators that use in their facilities heating and/or fired CHP biomass from virgin wood. To do that the Park has already sent a letter to operators to take a census of existing facilities and to gather signatures regarding the enlargement of the short chain.

Danube Ipoly National Park (HUNGARY)
The Local Supply Chain Plan was (is) continuously updated based upon the new data and discussions. Biomass potential data assessment forms have been filled for different areas. In many cases the originally selected areas  could not become part of the local biomass supply chains because of different sustainability considerations. Possibilities of involving other areas managed by forestry companies have been studied.
Sas Hill Pilot Supply Chain has been tested at an increased energy production (increased end use). New areas were selected as possible bases of the biomass supply. By the way, further examinations are necessary to calculate the biomass potential more exactly.
Local fire wood supply chain has been set up in Ocsa Landscape Protection Area. Based upon the good experiences of the first season and detailed examination of legal possibilities Memoranda of Understanding was signed in 2014 to ensure the long term sustainability of the supply chain. Based upon the good experiences in Ocsa similar sistem was set up in 2014 in the Borzsony Mountains – Ipoly Valley area. If the testing shows similar results here long term operation of this supply chain is planned. Also a new supply chain was set up in Ocsa involving the local small scale pasta factory as end user.
Subcontracted expert met several times the local stakeholders, economic actors, majors. As a result, one settlement applied for funding of a new solid biomass heater based upon locally produced biomass. Surveying existing biomass energy producing installments in the operational area was started, including discussions about possibilities of setting up local supply chains.
We consulted at different forums about special topics of the project with our partners (national parks, forestry companies, entrepreneurs, experts, NGOs). Preparations were done for the cooperation with forestry companies to set up sustainable local supply chains based upon the biomass resulted from their nature conservation management activities.

Solktaler Nature Park (AUSTRIA)
In collaboration with the Austrian Research and Education Centre for Agriculture Raumberg-Gumpenstein the amount of biomass in the nature reserve was determined exactly. In cooperation with the Energy Agency Styria North stakeholders for biomass in the region with the Round Tables were very good achieved. This process was accompanied by press releases and the presentation of the project BIOEUPARKS at several events. A highlight was the visit of the Austrian Minister of Agriculture Andrae Rupprechter at at our exhibition stand. In the Central European Biomass Conference in Graz, we were invited to present the project BIOEUPARKS with a poster. This gave us the opportunity to present the project BIOEUPARKS to major international stakeholders in the field of biomass.
In the analysis, we found that the biomass heating plant in Stein / Enns there is the greatest potential for increasing the share of regional biomass. In developing the biomass supply chain we focus on the biomass heating plant in Stein / Enns. Due to the snow conditions, the work rests in the woods in Sölktäler Nature Park in winter. Probably in April of the work can be resumed and the development of the biomass supply chain will continue.

Kozjansko Regional Park and the Slovenian forestry institute (SLOVENIA)
In the last years Slovenian forestry institute was partner in several national and international projects with an aim to promote wood biomass and to support supply and demand side of BSC. With this projects (BIOEUPARKS) KRP IN SFI have supported and motivated municipality, forest owners and potential investors to invest in wood biomass district heating system in Kozje. In the first half of the year 2013 KRP and SFI realised different activities to support BSC in Kozje. This is also a time when investor in DHS realised his investment.
Remote heating with biomass in Kozje thus represents a positive example how to contribute to the reduce emissions of green-house gases. At the same time is the aim of the firm’s management also to build up sustainable forest management in local area. In continuation of this project the Kozjanski Park Management will strive to find within protected area some additional investors in remote heating (GRID/SYSTEM?), who would be ready to attain predominant share of needed biomass from the forests of Kozjanski Park. Our further activities will be dedicated to promotion of presented BSC among all interested groups.

Rodopi National Park (GREECE)
After a series of awareness event, round tables and meetings with local stakeholders and key actors in the RNP area, the project teams have set up a local supply chain (LSC) for the park biomass. The LSC consist of 5 successive rings, each one performing a specific role in the operational activities of the supply chain, from the forest of the Park to the burning installations of the end user.
The Greek Forest Service, which is the only landowner, is the first ring of the LSC. Forest Service is responsible for the management of the forest land and the production of biomass.Forest Service checks the implementation of current forest management plans and assures compliance with forest sustainability criteria.
The local Forest Worker Cooperatives as the second ring in the LSC provide logging services, by signing annual contracts with the Forest Service. The local Forest Worker Cooperatives are awarded to perform the harvesting activities in the forest stands inside the Park, on an annual basis, following the limitations that have been prescribed in the approved management plans and the instructions of the Forest Service. The Biomass Processor, a local industry, is the third ring of the LSC. It buys quantities of the biomass produced inside the RNP area from the Forest Worker Cooperatives, on the basis of annual contracts as well. A local Biomass Reseller acts as the forth ring in the LSC. He performs biomass transport and feeding together with maintenance services to the burning installations of the end user. Annual contract is the legal agreement between the reseller and the end user.
A Local Public Entity is the final ring and end user of the LSC. By this action the end user tries to achieve multiple targets, i.e. support the local economy cycle, promote job creation, develop the local natural resources and reduce the its heating operational and maintenance costs.
The project future activities are targeted towards two directions. At first, the implementation and monitoring of the pilot LSC; the data related to the first heating season have to be collected, analyzed and evaluated by the Greek teams. Secondly, the promotion and implementation of this operating scheme in other possible end users in the RNP area; the partners will undertake dissemination initiatives, organizing face-to-face meetings with other local stakeholders, stressing the advantages of the use of local biomass.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015 - 13:00