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Biomass, business and the conservation of Aquatic Warbler in Poland . Jaroslaw Krogulec OTOP The Polish Society for the Protection of Birds.

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biomass business and the conservation of aquatic warbler in poland

Biomass, business and the conservationof Aquatic Warbler inPoland

Jaroslaw Krogulec


ThePolishSociety for theProtection of Birds


Since EU accession, with the associated change in agricultural market conditions and practices and the introduction of agri-environment programmes, large areas of high-nature-value grasslands are currently managed for nature conservation.


The condition is to remove the biomass cut from the sites in order to prevent the accumulation of nutrients and the creation of a layer of dead biomass.


However, agricultural demand for this type of rather low-quality biomass is much lower than the offer, so that the success of the conservation measures is seriously threatened in large areas


Therefore we decicded to develop and test solutions for the sustainable use of biomass derived from the management of Aquatic Warbler habitats in easternPoland



Project sites:

  • Chelm Marshes SPA
  • &
  • Poleski NP (possible): This site could also serve as an additional provider of biomass for the Chelm plant.

Project sites:

  • Biebrza Marshes SPA, including the National Park and the NP buffer zone
  • &
  • Narew NP (possible)

All these sites are Natura 2000 sites, qualifying for support from LIFE+ Nature.

  • They are all key sites for the Aquatic Warbler in eastern Poland.
  • Together they hold 96% of the Polish population of the AW.

This project aim

  • To test and set-up a best-practice example for an alternative use for the biomass created.
  • The biomass is to be used as sustainable source of fuel in a local large plant of CemexPolska in Chelm.

Biomass will be tested for its suitability as fuel:

  • calorific value
  • emissions produced
  • best mixing ration to traditional fuel
  • maximum capacity for use of biomass,

Project will also test economic aspects of:

  • maximum economic distance for transport of biomass for each of its different forms
  • economic viability for the organisation running the power plant

In a first stage of the project, various types of biomass from different vegetation types and sites and prepared in different forms (wet, dried, shredded, pelleted, bailed) will be tested


OTOP would alsomake sure that the biomass is sourced from areas, where it serves conservation purposes, organises the supply and monitors it’s effect on nature conservation.


Cemex would lead on the technical testing and economic calculations.

  • It will be crucial for Cemex to calculate the real costs of the testing (e.g., does the burning facility have to be stopped in order to test the biomass burning?).

In a second stage, after the most advantageous form of biomass processing has been identified, the best-practice example is rolled out over 1 000 ha. This may involve the employment of a mobile pelleting machine etc.).

  • In a third stage, the feasibility of copying the system to other sites and companies in Poland is researched, and the results publicised.

Test various types of transport forms of biomass from different sites in order to find out the ideal form (cubes, bales, pellets, briquettes, loose, shred) and the maximum sustainable transport distances


Test and set up the technical facilities needed to use late-cut low-quality hay as renewable fuel, including transport facilities (this includes purchase of shredding machine and set up of storing facility)


Arrange supply and transport of biomass for the duration of the project (this includes either use of existing or purchase of new transport vehicles, and the arrangement for the transport (Cemex itself or a contractor or the farmers))


Implement a local system for the energetic use of biomass derived from sites in the Biebrza Valley (BPN and OTOP sites)


Arrange temporary test use of biomass in larger scale facilities in the vicinity of the Biebrza Valley (use of biomass in MPEC Bialystok, Rindipol in Elk, etc.)


improve the infrastructure for the harvest of biomass from AW sites (i.e. preparation of short-term manoeuvring and storage spaces, preparation of temporary faschine-based tracks during harvesting, additional fortification of existing key tracks for frequent use of machinery)


Feasibility study for the installation of local small-scale biomass ovens for local facilities in the immediate surroundings of the Biebrza Valley


Promote the market products derived from biomass from AW sites

  • Marketing campaign for briquettes produced at Narew and Biebrza
  • Negotiations with potential large-scale customers