Pilot 3: Biomass Trade Center

This pilot was implemented in Austria, Slovakia and Serbia.

Biomass trade centres are business entities driven and owned by local stakeholders. The BTCs act as a coordination and distribution hub for  the whole biomass supply chain from harvesting and transport to the centre, processing and storage of biomass to distribution to the end users. 

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Objectives

  • Establishment of a Biomass Trade Center (BTC) resp. distribution center in Serbia and Slovakia. Styria acts as a distributor of knowledge and lessons learned, since BTCs are already a well-established concept in Styria.
  • As no BTCs exist in Serbia and Slovakia, the joint implementation of the pilot focus on comparative regional feasibility studies taking advantage of the experience and knowledge on BTCs of the Austrian partners Waldverband Steiermark, Holzcluster Steiermark GmbH and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU).
  • The local marketing and distribution of forest biomass from small-scale forests owned by farmers/families to small private customers as well as to medium and large commercial end users. 

In Slovakia, the concept was focused more on a distribution center for the delivery of biomass to a heating plant and the corresponding logistics. The Pilot project on biomass logistics center is the first one in Slovakia, which allows more efficient use of regional biomass resources in terms of concentrations from several producers and its distribution to end users nearby. Only partial inputs of  the proposed technical and logistics solutions for the cooperating stakeholders could be tested during the preparation and validation phase. After the implementation of the pilot project there will be necessity to address problems arising from practical experience in the operation of the logistics center which were not possible to predict or tests during the project FOROPA implementation. The pilot project after necessary modifications can be applied to other users, respectively  user communities working in the biomass supply chains, e.g. harvesting and transport companies, owners and forest managers and groups of end users producers of energy from biomass.

In Serbia, a potential and feasibility study was conducted to capture the stakeholder interest alongside needs, possibilities and justification and therefore the potential for the esteblishment of a biomass trade center. The study indicates how many financial, human and other resources are necessary for the establishment of such a center. It also showed a high potential for the establishment of a BTC. The growing market demand for wood biomass and the indifference of wood processors to establish business contacts with private forest owners clearly point to the necessity of establishing a new form of biomass marketing.

In Austria  which acted mainly as a distributer of knowledge, an automatic roundwood acceptance system has been installed in an existing biomass trade center in addition. The system allows the delivery of round wood outside the opening hours of the center for haulers. Therefore, haulers register at a terminal, weigh the delivery and and unload the wood. Delivery and weighing notes are then generated automatically. The system is running in test mode right now, regular operation will start in the beginning of 2015.