Select Sidearea

Populate the sidearea with useful widgets. It’s simple to add images, categories, latest post, social media icon links, tag clouds, and more.

Bioenergy Europe at the Biomass Regional Forum

Bioenergy Europe at the Biomass Regional Forum

Participants at the AgriGas gasification plant during the Biomass Regional Forum 2024 in Larissa, Greece. 

Bioenergy Europe attended the first Biomass Regional Forum in Greece, heralding a new era for forest bioenergy 

14-16 May 2024 


On 14 May 2024, the inaugural Regional Biomass Forum organized by the Hellenic Biomass Association (HellaBiom), in partnership with Advantage Austria, the Austrian Embassy in Greece, and the Austrian Biomass Association (ABA) took place in Larisa, Greece, attracting more than 220 live participants and 80 online ones. The event brought together various stakeholders from businesses, local governments, research institutions, forestry services and cooperatives, energy communities, equipment manufacturers, biomass producers, and others along the biomass value chain. The forum was preceded by a formal institutional meeting at the Greek Ministry of Environment & Energy on May 13th. 


The first day opened with a speech delivered by the Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Theodoros Skylakakis, who explained the reform of the Greek forest sector, the plans to support the extraction of excess biomass from the forests to avoid the spread of megafires and how this will enable the creation of a new bioeconomy & bioenergy businesses. The Ambassador of Austria to Greece, Ms. Gerda Vogl, opened the conference on behalf of the Austrian delegation, highlighting her country’s experience in forestry and bioenergy. The topic was further elaborated by Christoph Pfemeter, President of Bioenergy Europe and Managing Director of ABA, who provided further details on bioenergy’s contribution in the EU energy system and the state of bioenergy in Austria. Additional speakers, from both Austria and Greece, shared their experiences and competencies in forest biomass extraction and utilization in bioenergy applications.  


In his intervention, Nikos Damatis, Secretary General of HellaBiom, summarized the key message of the conference: “Removal of excess biomass from the Greek forests has become a necessity and modern bioenergy can provide solutions for its handling in a way that is not only environmentally sustainable but also provides economic and social benefits. These three pillars – the technical / economic, the environmental, and the social are necessary in any sustainable application of bioenergy”. 


The event was concluded with a matchmaking session between companies from the Austrian trade delegation, which included Bioenergy Europe members Syncraft and Polytechnik, and Greek companies. 


On the morning May 15th, participants had the chance to visit the Forest Service of Mouzaki and get to understand the multiple activities of the service, as well as the challenges associated with the difficult terrain. On the afternoon, the Austrian Delegation visited the Department of Forestry, Wood Sciences & Design at the University of Thessaly, to deliver lectures to the faculty and students and to visit its research laboratories. 


The forum concluded on May 16th with a full day of site visits in local bioenergy facilities: the 1 MWe CHP unit of Alfa Wood in its wood processing plant in Larisa, using own wood residues; the 500 kWe gasification plant of Agrigas coupled with an agropellet production line; and the 5 MWe biomass power plant of Viopar, the largest in Greece. 


Manolis Karampinis, Bioenergy Europe’s Membership and Business Director attended the event and took part in its planning in his capacity as Board Member of HellaBiom. Manolis highlights: “Transferring of experiences and know-how from the Austrian example in forestry and bioenergy can facilitate the transition of the Greek forestry sector. It is great to see this growing collaboration between the Greek and Austrian associations, as well as the mature solutions that can be offered or already applied by the members of Bioenergy Europe and other companies. Overall, this first Regional Biomass Forum was an excellent event that will surely bear fruits in the coming years.”