Dmytro Novosad: «We are headed towards energy independence»

Eurotechenergo LLC specializes primarily in construction of energy complexes i.e. boiler rooms and other systems where gas, liquid fuel, industrial wood residue, agricultural waste and other biomass are used to produce heat or power.

We have an extensive experience in implementing a wide range of waste incineration projects. In the recent years, our team has built over 70 MW of facilities that use various kinds of waste as a key source of fuel. This is an agricultural waste in the form of sunflower pellets and wood chips.

We have repeatedly participated in development of poultry farm waste disposal concept etc.

The majority of projects were implemented in the form of EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contracts (turnkey contracts). Currently, this is the most convenient way for our customers to cooperate with us. They don’t have to worry about commissioning of a facility, documentation preparation etc.

Our company offers a full range of services, from data collection, design and equipment supply to commissioning.

History. The path to biomass business

Back in 2009, we had a small team. At the time, we mostly focused on traditional energy projects i.e. facilities which use either gas or diesel. However, as the owner of the company and project manager, I already took a keen interest in alternative fuels.

By the time 2013 gas crisis hit – which was also the peak of transition to alternative fuels -, our team had already gained enough experience in implementing biomass combustion projects. We have provided one of the large greenhouse complexes with heat produced from wood chips. Shortly after, we have implemented around 10 similar projects. With this experience under our belt, we were able to hit the market in full force.

Our company’s scope of activity includes:

  • Provision of consulting
  • Design
  • Equipment supply
  • Power system construction
  • Commissioning

One of our signature services is production of energy-efficient equipment. We manufacture modular boiler plants for which we have the whole range of approval documents, including technical specifications and certificates. We arrange these boiler plants according to their types: permanently installed, modular, gas and biomass ones.

Using the waste generated by manufacturing industry is one of the current key trends. Since the agricultural market is the fastest-growing market at the moment, there is a lot of waste in the agricultural sector which isn’t used to the fullest. Thanks to the companies such as Eurotechenergo, the waste is used and converted into energy to the greatest possible extent.

Advantages of switching to biofuels

The biofuel is classified as a renewable energy source which is its key advantage.

These are agricultural waste and industrial wood residue.

Given our country’s strategic course of development, the use of renewable fuels is high on the list of priorities.

  1. We are headed towards energy independence which is why it is absolutely critical to use the biofuels as an alternative to traditional fuel sources.
  2. This is the most high-calorie fuel. Not using it means throwing away the energy which is basically right beneath our feet.

When we started dealing with this, there were no biomass combustion technologies in Ukraine, no companies we could learn from. So, in order to adopt the Western practices in agrarian waste and industrial wood residue processing, we traveled to Lithuania, Latvia and Germany.

Considering the fact that biofuels turned into a current trend, becoming a solid alternative to traditional energy sources, a lot of newly-emerged companies, advanced technologies and equipment can be engaged and used in biofuel combustion projects.

Due to this popularization, the aforementioned technologies became a lot cheaper.

While the use of traditional energy sources used to attract by minimum capital expenditures to build such complexes, the costs linked to biofuel usage today are not much higher than those for projects involving traditional energy sources.

At this point, this is one of the biggest advantages of biofuels.

Another major plus is that today’s technologies allow to make these systems that use biofuels eco-friendly. We can safely build power complexes and boiler plants within the city area and reassure all residents that there are no health hazards.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank provide funding for these projects eagerly, which implies that Europeans approve and implement best practices in this field. They aren’t scared that a solid-fuel boiler plant will be a pollution-producing facility.

Besides, today’s complexes don’t even remotely resemble the archaic solid fuel boiler plants which had been built back in the USSR. Nowadays, the facilities with advanced manufacturing machinery use flue gas purification and ash removal systems and are fully automated.

When we were giving our clients a tour around our facilities in 2013, some visitors were shocked to see people wearing clean clothes and everything being automated, because they had this preconceived notion that the solid fuel plants are supposed to look all black and dirty.

So, if we talk about the advantages, we can safely say that there is a ton of them. The market speaks for itself. We are often commissioned to build facilities which use this type of fuel.

What should be additionally mentioned is that many biofuels are exported which poses a certain problem, since this results in increase of fuel cost, especially during the winter time. Against this backdrop, profitability of the businesses engaged in heat generation and running on biofuels starts to drop.

So, legislative regulation is insufficient in this respect. Many associations take steps towards creation of a biofuel stock exchange which operates in Lithuania, for example. Ukraine doesn’t have such a thing which opens the door to manipulations in the biofuel market.

Prospects for Ukrainian biopower sector

In terms of biofuel development prospects, it stands to mention that around 70% of biomass in Ukraine – aside from the straw – is already being processed as a waste and used. Straw is a separate biomass type that our country is currently unfamiliar with. We still don’t have many facilities which would consume this type of fuel. At the moment, only the Danes and Czechs have straw combustion technologies efficiently used for energy production. These are still too pricey for us.

A lot of energy biomass in form of pellets or briquettes is exported to Europe. In light of the existing trend, the export turnover is only increasing.

So, if we talk about development of our market, the prospects look quite promising. If we take into account this export factor and re-channel it to the domestic market, we’ll achieve large volume of energy production.

In light of the energy crisis in 2013 and a booming demand for energy efficient equipment, a lot of poor-quality equipment has been installed at the time. Strong demand resulted in emergence of many new manufacturers that had no expertise in biomass combustion. So, I believe the companies dealing with biomass have a lot of work to do in the coming years, particularly in relation to replacement of low-quality energy-efficient equipment installed in the previous years, as well as construction of new plants.

I have every reason to believe that the use of biomass will continue to increase in the next 10 years.

Given that the prices for energy products are going up in Ukraine, the biofuels will remain a much more cost-effective solution. The implementation of these technologies will only gain momentum which, in turn, will lead to increase in the volume of construction of plants running on biomass.

As evidenced by the market developments, a lot of companies have been switching to biomass this year, and this trend will definitely continue. Our company will certainly have things to do in the next ten years.

Past experience has shown that biomass is no simple product. My colleagues and I are really excited that this product is now actively used in our country, that we have learned how to work with it. We are currently producing renewable energy, the reserves of which show no shortage. Basically, we produce it from the byproduct (agrarian, woodwork and timber industry etc.).

I think that the use of biomass is fully in line with development strategy of our country. This is the trend of technological countries, and we ourselves slowly turn into a technological country as well. Investment is what we need the most for a more dynamic development.

I wish everyone success on this path!