The BioRES project studied the best European practices to establish Biomass Logistic and Trade Centres (BLTCs), local or regional centres with optimised logistics and trading organization where different woody bioenergy products (or heat) are marketed at standardized quality focusing on the domestic market uptake. The BLTCs as regional hubs will help increasing local supply and demand for woody bioenergy products.
GREBE partner Luke (Natural Resources Institute Finland) is leading the working package on European best practices of BLTCs. The recently published report about good practice examples analysed 11 examples of operating BLTCs from Austria, Finland, Germany and Slovenia. The SWOT analyses of business models were carried out in the stakeholder workshops in the implementing countries to evaluate the possibilities and limitations to transfer the business models.
The role of Luke in the BioRES project is to support the project partners in the implementing countries, particularly with logistics of biomass procurement and technological solutions related questions. Transfer of Finnish knowledge and experience through training of local stakeholders in Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia is very important for the successful realization of the project objectives, says research scientist and project manager Karri Pasanen of Luke.
Lessons learned and key success factors for local market development of woody bioenergy and setting-up BLTCs were identified during a joint international workshop:
- Finding (political) support on local level is important
- Optimize locations (supply and demand in the same region)
- Transparency of business (prices, contracts, reliability) – price shouldn’t be the only factor
- Synergies with other industries should be created
- Several main pillars of BLTC business will help to be/stay successful, e.g.selling and providing heat (not just biomass), services for potential customers (about investment in boilers, etc.),connection with other industries and businesses (for example tourism).
- Being a local stakeholder helps to establish trust
- Be a pioneer and have new ideas (e.g. facilitated by EU projects with European know-how exchange)
- Extending supply chains (e.g. from private forest owners)
- Motivated members/staff will ensure success (maintenance, customer service and sales)
- Establishing trustful and long term cooperation among suppliers and customers and between energy market actors (also in difficult economic times) is crucial for ensuring economic success of BLTCs
- Costumer development has to be considered as a major activity in establishing the BLTCs. This includes larger costumers, such as district heating plants and smaller individual costumers
- Local businesses and potential BLTC investors need to invest in raising awareness about the benefits of woody bioenergy products
- Developing suitable business models which fit to the specific local condition and nature of the BLTC operator setting has a major impact for the success of new BLTCs.
- Specific solutions, such as public private partnerships, local district heating systems, or cooperative structure, provided participants valuable insights about a large variety of ownership models, business segments and market development.
In conclusion, the successful establishment of BLTC is a longer process requiring persistence, and it usually takes several years to achieve positive financial results.
The BioRES project results can be implemented also in the Northern Periphery regions and GREBE partner countries.
The report and other BioRES project results can be found through the following link: http://bioresproject.eu/