A large number of citrus-fruits processing industries generate significant quantities of organic residues, the current practice for their disposal being uncontrolled landfilling. One of the methods best suited to treat such organic, wet residues is that of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) to produce biogas (to generate electricity and heat) and compost (to be used a an added-value soil conditioner/fertiliser).
Since, most of the times, the involved industries and SMEs do not meet the critical size to ensure a financially viable energy valorisation of their organic residues, it is vital to combine the waste streams of different SMEs as well as involve competent partners with different disciplines (i.e. technology vendors, specialised contractors and finance providers).
The proposed study includes the effective "networking" of such partners to examine, address and deal with the proposed project non-technical issues, which have been found to be of paramount importance to the successful launching of similar undertakings, these being:
* the exact identification and role of the key players involved in the actual implementation of the proposed undertaking (and other similar applications)
* the assessment and quantification of social and environmental impacts related to project appraisal
* the identification and perception of all risks associated with the proposed (and other of similar nature) project deployment as well as the exact set-out of all measures and actions for the identified risks minimisation
* the establishment of the exact financing structure of the proposed project as well as the identified "networking" activities
* the formulation of a precise Business Plan at a very early stage of the entire undertaking.
The proposed study includes an integrated approach not only for the rational management of the citrus-processing industries organic wastes treatment and energy valorisation but also a generic widely applicable methodology for other similar activities. Hence, the completion of the proposed study is expected to accomplish:
* the survey and mapping of the agro-industrial residues potential for the specific application conceived
* the investigation to prepare a "network" of end-users (agro-industries), technology providers (SMEs), market developers and financiers
* the assessment of the social and environmental benefits and constraints
* the establishment of the financing structure for the identified "network"
* the identification of all risks associated with the project deployment
* the analysis of the organisational aspects related to the actual "network" establishment and operation in practice.