On 23 May 2019, more than 60 international experts in bioenergy and multimodal logistics participated at the final conference of the ENERGY BARGE project, which is coordinated by FNR, in Budapest. The focus of the event was laid on the set of tools that were elaborated by the project consortium during the last 2.5 years to foster a sustainable use of biomass for energetic purposes and encourage a modal shift by increasing the share of biomass transports on the Danube.
In his keynote address, Péter Kaderják, Hungarian Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Climate Policy, spoke about the importance to exploit the potential for green energy in the form of biomass in the Danube region in a sustainable way, thereby increasing energy security and efficiency in the Danube countries. The first session of the conference was dedicated to the further development of inland waterways and actions to increase cargo transport on the Danube and how the EU Strategy for the Danube region supports the goals related to sustainable energy sources and how the measures implemented in ENERGY BARGE fit into the transnational policy objectives.
Five Danube ports (MAHART-Freeport Budapest, Port of Straubing-Sand, Port of Vienna, Port of Vukovar, Slovak Shipping and Ports JSC) are part of the project consortium. In the frame of the project, the ports elaborated feasibility studies to become biomass hubs as part of a transnational network along the Danube. The results were presented by port representatives during the afternoon session. Each port defined specific investment projects, taking into consideration market, technology and financial aspects. As a results from the pre-feasibility study, Slovak Shipping and Ports JSC announced to establish a new biomass transhipment and storage facility on the port of Bratislava with a total investment of 250,000 €.
A workshop regarding the connection of ports/multimodal hubs with the biomass sector concluded the final ENERGY BARGE conference. Three discussion groups targeted the topics “Placement of biomass industry in ports”, “Future development of Danube ports” and “Derivation of policy recommendations for the Danube region”. Users and providers of inland waterway logistics must work together on innovative, multimodal solutions and speak with one voice when it comes to improving the infrastructural prerequisites and to unify customs regulations at the national borders. In addition, it will be important to make the logistics sector more attractive for young professionals since there is already a shortage of qualified personnel, which will become an even more serious issue in the next years due to the age structure in this sector.
More information on the ENERGY BARGE project and its results can be found here.
FNR contact person: Thies Fellenberg
Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF)