30.11. - 1.12.2020. / Rovinj

Ilickovic: NGO Scene does not have a Good Overview of the Situation in the Biomass Sector

Established journalist of the Croatian national television HRT, Mladen Ilickovic, in his  active participation at the conference mentioned the numerous open issues in the sector, connecting ecological, energetic and environmental aspects of the use of energy from wood. Wood is underutilised resource, but there is no systematic approach to its larger and more efficient use, because some institutions responsible for obtaining permits work too slow or unprofessionally. Ilickovic commented on procedures in drafting of law on renewable energy sources, abandoned agricultural areas that are suitable for energy plantations and finally commented on the need to reduce CO2 emissions as a global commitment. Especially interesting was his opinion on the role of non-governmental environmental organizations, since Ilickovic believes that they are poorly informed about the benefits and potential of using biomass, because they mainly focus on stopping the construction of a coal plant. Ilickovic expects that the Green Peace office in Croatia could slightly modify current trends and opinions.

Jossart: A Model of Cooperation in Croatia Can be Beneficial at the EU Level

Participating at the Energy from Wood Conference on the Adriatic Wood Days, the Secretary General of the European Biomass Association, Jean-Marc Jossart, presented the basic information on the market opportunities related to wood biomass in the EU. Through the presentation and discussion with other participants who presented the data related to SEE region, it was concluded that the European trend of doubling the amount of biomass in the last 10 years is in a similar extent present in Croatia and neighboring countries. Raoul Cvecic Bole, the President of the Croatian Pellet, Briquette and Wood Biomass Association, which in this year has become a full member of the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), emphasized the need that the companies and institutions from this part of Europe should be actively involved in creating relevant sectoral proposals at the EU level. We are part of the EU and we should not only follow European policies, but we have to take part in their creation, said Cvecic. At the end of the conference there was an argumented debate between foresters, raw material suppliers, wood processors and relevant institutions. “Here I recognize the union and flexibility in the attitudes of foresters, wood processing industry and biomass and wood energy producers. There is a lack of raw material, but I notice that there are certain agreements on raw materials and future actions, which may be model for cooperation at EU level.

EWD has a Good Marketing Messages

The goal of the workshop on marketing was to include analysis of specific marketing messages and numerous recommendations for sectoral companies. German manufacturer of sawmill technology EWD (Esterer WD) is the example of a successful brand in the sector.The leading position in the field of basic sawmill technology allows direct communication with the market and the use of distinctive promotional messages. Using the marketing term “the best and the fastest technology for sawmills in the world” is appropriate to the company’s market experience, image and reputation. We do not stop there, we continuously develop innovative products that are followed with striking marketing messages, said Peter Schachtner. We offer a modern and efficient technologies that have been already recognized in the countries of the Region, and our technology is used and ordered by the largest investors in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. Usually it is about sawmills with the over 150,000 m3 of annual slots, but we also offer small plants, said the representative of the EWD’s

E-Forests (E-Suma): Possibilities for Modernization and Informatization of Stronger Timber, Forests and Wood Trade

In the session on timber trade there were an intensive discussions on the need for new methods of monitoring of wood assortments in forestry, based on GIS and Cloud systems. Ivan Mahnic, manager of forest cooperative Terra Concordia, presented the project E-Forests (E-Suma), which is an information tool for the establishment of surveillance and monitoring of wood assortments, from logging in the forest to the consumer, with GPS and RFID technologies and barcode. It deals with a number of shortcomings in the existing system of monitoring raw material, said Mahnic. E-Forest can improve existing situation in trade and offers a number of benefits and savings in forestry, but also sawmills and warehouses of sawn timber. Basically, we are a step beyond the existing data because we provide all the information in real time, concluded Mahnic.

There is a Good Perspective for Sustainable Forest Management in the Region

Participants in the panel discussion on the future of forestry introduced the positive examples of sustainable management and more progressive atmosphere in the sector was emphasized on several occations. It had led to changes in laws and regulations, and to an overall improvement of sector opportunities. On the other hand, after the presentation of the representatives of Austrian State Forests, participants concluded that the progress has been insufficient in comparison with the results and experiences of the Western Europe countries. EU strictly prohibits trafficking in illegally harvested wood and opposes excessive harvesting that is still present in Croatia and SEE countries, especially in private forests. It is necessary to continue with responsible and sustainable forestry which contributes to their growth, and wood processing is environmentally neutral, which is still quite unknown to the general, concluded the panelists.

EU projects: The Possibilities for the Establishment of New Sectoral EU Projects were Considered

Representatives of regional clusters, sectoral associations, institutions and companies from the Croatia and SEE region,have started the initiatives for project ideas with aim to improve wood-processing sector and forestry and especially to promote wood as an environmentally and renewable material. Representatives of Holzcluster from Austria, which is experienced in writing EU projects, discussed the current situation in the sector, noting that the projects with forest and wood thematic are more difficult to be funded from Horizon 2020. After the presentations and related discussions, it was concluded that there are additional opportunities for joint transnational cooperation, for example in the framework of the Danube and the Danube Strategy Programs. In order to implement the project ideas there will be held several working meetings and follow ups for organizing the project consortium for the development of projects and the withdrawal of EU funds.

FSC Presented Novelties in the Certification Scheme to Foresters and Wood Processors in Southeast Europe

Representative of the international certification organization FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) presented the participants of AWD in Dubrovnik the advantages of FSC standards, which ensures sustainable managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits and consequently added value for certified products. Our goal is to increase the use of FSC certificate in Southeast Europe, which provides added value of forest and wood products, and thus international competitiveness. I am satisfied with my established contacts here on Adriatic Wood-Days and with shown interest of representatives of the forest-based sector in Croatia, especially from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, said Felix Romero Canizarez, adding that the FSC is interested in organizing educational workshops and mini promotional campaign that will enhance the visibility and wider use of certificates in public affairs in the upcoming period.

AEBIOM Organizes a Workshop on Mapping European Biomass Capacities. The Featured Topic are Cogeneration Plants

European Biomass Association will organize a workshop in Dubrovnik, to exchange positions on registration of existing production potential in biomass production. The information system, established by AEBIOM, enables the monitoring capacity by GIS methods. From this year, the Croatian Association of Biomass Producers joined AEBIOM and the predominating theme will be energy production from wood, especially the functioning of cogeneration plants.

WoodEMA Brings Leading Scientists from All Over the World

The world’s leading names in the field of wood processing come to Dubrovnik. This is organized by the International Association WoodEMA that combines a wide range of knowledge and research potential by its activities. A series of research projects will be presented, and many discussions will address the opportunities for further growth of the sector, the use of new and sophisticated technologies and greater use of innovation without which it is not possible to achieve and maintain global competitiveness.

Assistant Ministers, Mr. Krizaj and Mr. Fetic Also on the Conference as Well as Representatives of Chamber of Economy in Sarajevo and Experts from Slovenia

On the list of participants there are also representatives of relevant institutions from the Croatian and SEE regional markets, the leading wood processing companies and manufacturers of windows, doors, flooring and furniture. Leading sawmill representatives, wood traders, representatives of professional and economy chambers, manufacturers of pellets and chips and the relevant sectoral associations are also expected.