In the end of January (23−25th), the General Assembly meeting of Secure Chain project was held in Estonia.

Apart from the project talks and progress meetings, the consortium also visited the project site site and ohter Southern Estonian companies, discussing about promoting and increasing the use of bio fuels.

Taarapõllu Farm, located in Southern Estonia, Võru county, is engaged in the organic production and processing of fruits, berries and vegetables. One of the Secure Chain project innovation vouchers in Estonia was issued to Taarapõllu Farm – the compliation and cost-benefit calculation of developing the micro-cogeneration plant using biomass (wood chips) as a fuel. The manager of the farm, Silvi Langus told the guests about the current production and development activities of the farm, presented the recently built solar plant and the overall production process of a company. Also the obstacles encountered in implementing the investment plans were discussed. The manager acknowledged that it is very difficult for a small industrial company to undertake a medium-sized investment because its own turnover is still not enough, but big investors are not interested in such a small investment in the countryside.

Next, the Warmeston pellet factory in Sõmerpalu, Võru County was visited and introduced the visitors to the Estonian forest and wood industry. Warmeston is the first company in Estonia, whose production corresponds to the SBP certificate.

The Southern Estonian tour ended in Tartu, where a major company Fortum takes care of the whole city’s warmth on the basis of local biofuels. During the site visit, the discussion was held about the advantages of district heating in urban settlements and the guests were introduced to the company overall and it’s future plans. LLC Tartu Fortum is interested in the investing into combined heat and electricity production, which, in addition to environmental protection, would also reduce fuel consumption by 20%.

As an innovative service in Estonian context, the so-called “cold store” − an environmentally-friendly district cooling system is already working in the center of Tartu city. Currently, both traditional industrial cooling equipment and cold water from the Emajõgi are used in the cooling process. The flexible combination of different solutions in different seasons allows optimizing the operation modes and power of cooling plant machinery. In order to reach the customers, a 1,6 km district cooling grid is located under the center of Tartu town, the investment made by company was  5.7 million euros.

The Horizon 2020 programme project Secure Chain is about to reach its end this year − the final conference will be held in June 2018 in Brussels.