Innovative biomass processing is becoming a success story for Latvia’s economy

Biomass, LIAA
Innovative biomass processing is becoming a success story for Latvia’s economy
On June 27, a delegation of Latvian entrepreneurs met in Brussels with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, and other EU institutions representatives to discuss the potential for advancing biorefinery projects. The visit is the next step after signing a Biorefinery Memorandum on 18 June.

Biorefinery, as a method for biomass recycling, is a crucial component of the contemporary bioeconomy. It has been defined as a priority area at the EU level, aligned to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030.

The Latvian delegation included representatives from companies and institutions such as Fibenol, ASNS Ingredient, Latvijas finieris, Aloja Starkelsen, Riga Technical University, and the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA). Latvijas Finieris and Fibenol have secured European funding for pilot plants from the Circular Bio-Based Europe initiative, with CBE JU investing €9 million in Latvian projects so far. At the same time, several other Latvian companies have significant projects that require loans or additional support.

“Biorefinery as a method for extracting energy and other valuable materials is one of the areas supported by the EU’s common policy, which aims to phase out fossil resources. This approach supports the development of a circular economy by utilizing locally available biomass resources. It spans various sectors, including the food industry, pulp production, plastics, chemicals, construction, and textiles,” emphasized Egita Aizsilniece-Ibema, Head of the Latvian Innovation and Technology Representation in Brussels, adding that biorefinery is a knowledge-intensive approach that has the potential to enhance investment in research and development while adding the value of locally grown produce.

In Brussels, Latvian companies discussed the possibilities of attracting funding from EU funds and support instruments such as STEP and InvestEU, as well as the regulatory framework and the promotion of interests in this area.

Maurizio Decio, CEO of Aloja Starkelsen, in a meeting with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, stressed that he invested in the Latvian company because bioeconomy plays a vital role in Latvia and its main products are exported. “Here, we have the opportunity to work on developing new products under excellent conditions, and biorefinery as a method offers many new opportunities,” M. Decio stated. Other companies visiting Brussels are also eager to integrate into the European supply chain, enhancing the EU’s competitiveness in global markets.

On June 18, 22 Latvian companies and organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support and promote the development of new value chains from locally sourced bio-based materials. The Memorandum emphasizes the importance of producing final products within Latvia to ensure that the economic benefits, job creation, and sustainable practices associated with biorefinery projects are retained within the country, thereby contributing to regional development.

Source:  Investment and Development Agency of Latvia  (LIAA)