Since the beginning of the project, the demonstration activities have started in the three pilots, mainly focused on the characterization of the biomass supply activities and the determination of the actual idle periods and production costs. In addition, all the equipment required for the demo activities has been already selected, purchased or constructed.
Harvesting activities have been carried out with both herbaceous residues (straw, chaff, maize stalks and corn cob) and pruning residues: on the one hand, combine harvesting of chaff and straw and separate harvesting of corn cob and stalks tests; on the other hand, the first campaign of prunings from olive harvesting activities has already been performed.
We have initiated some storage activities and even started to perform some real production tests in the Spanish demo site, obtaining the first production costs of 100 % herbaceous pellets, including fixed and operational costs.
In parallel to the demo activities, the aim is to complement and update the business models of the three demos in order to ensure the appropriate decision making for each business plan at the end of the project. We carried out the first update at the beginning of the project and created a simulation model to explore the optimisation of the profitability of each new IBLC; also, we set the methodology to identify and measure the environmental, social, economic and financial impacts of the new IBLC schemes, which is being used at the moment. As a complement to this, we developed a questionnaire addressing stakeholders – biomass harvesters or procurers, logistic operators, IBLC, distributors and end users- to get input on the selected KPIs (social, economic and environmental).
During the past months, we have built a framework for the stakeholders to share their views, practical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, contributing with this to a practical orientation of the AGROinLOG results. The methodology and the information presented in the public document D6.1 “Updated conceptual description of an IBLC“ was used to collect concrete insights and views from different agricultural stakeholders (private companies, agrarian cooperatives, sector and farmer associations).
Recently we published the deliverable D6.2 “Basic analysis of targeted agricultural sectors”, which presents the sector study that involved almost all of the project partners. It looks at six chosen agricultural sectors (vegetable oil extraction, olive oil chain, feed & fodder, wine, grain chain and sugar industry) to assess their potential for establishing IBLCs. Five country annex reports (Spain, Greece, Sweden, Ukraine and Serbia) and a European view annex report were written to provide extensive information.
Finally, during this time we have also organized seventeen show-cases to show the innovations in terms of machinery able to collect agriculture by-products; they included visits to facilities to observe real operation as well as workshop sessions with an active participation of the audience in order to obtain new inputs for the project. We will continue to announce new dates for show-cases in 2019 in our website.