45 experts from Germany, Sweden, Greece, Italy and Belgium met for the first business forum of the Business Association of Wismar (WWG). Together they explored the hidden bioenergy resource potentials of port areas (and discussed) how they can activate and use/utilize these potentials through closer cooperation of industrial companies. Such a high-ranking forum was a premiere for the WWG, made possible/ enabled by a cooperation with the Scheller Systemtechnik GmbH and the Holzcluster Nord (HCN e.V.).

Michael Scheller from the same company explained in a practice-oriented manner: “During the olive processing in Italy or Greece the stones will be thrown away, although they have an incredible amount of energy.” With the right technology and a biomass plant one could gain energy from these. Just as it is done with woodchips as a waste product of Wismars wood-processing industry.

Four european port regions shall be closer interconnected in the EPIC 2020 project. In detail these are the schwedish Malmö, Mantova in Italy, Astakos in Greece and Wismar in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The ports are transshipment centers for waste and provide the opportunity to install technology for the production of bioenergy in the surrounding areas. “In Rostock, for example, a gasification plant is planned, where the biomass coming from the port could be processed” said Scheller. “We expect that by 2020 more than 400 million euros will be invested through this project” explained Ellen Corke, project coordinator from Malmö. At the same time about 270 000 tons (oil equivalent) of renewable energy would be added per year. Furthermore: “The EPIC 2020 project builds capacity and know-how to promote the most efficient use of available bioenergy resources within ports and port regions.”

The goal is to generate sustainable economic growth for cities, ports and regional businesses based on environmental and social values by targeting the unused bioenergy resource potential. This means: How we can obtain energy also from olive stones through cooperation and technology transfer, rather than simply discard them as garbage.
Italy also shows how it might work. In the port city of Mantova was one of the largest petrochemical industries in the 1960s. With the economic crisis, the idea was born to rehabilitate, decontaminate and reclaim the derelict industrial area with the help of bioenergy production.
“With this topic we hit the nerve of the time” said Dr. Wieland Kirchner, Chairman of the WWG. Wismar is on the way to bioenergy symbiosis.
Thanks to German-English simultaneous translation the guests were able to follow the presentations without language barrier.
Aim of the forum was to create networks outgoing from Wismar and the region’s economy.