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Jean Schummer: official programmes are the best way to stretch marketing budgets

CHRISTIAN TOCK: eco-tech is as much about economy as ecology

“If we save the world... that’s nice, but the main goal is to help companies to grow and to create jobs and stimulate exports,” says Christian Tock, manager of the Luxembourg Eco-Innovation Cluster. He is talking about the Luxembourg economy ministry's identification of ecological tech­nology as a growing field where the Grand Duchy can stake out a compe­ titive position. Indeed, a clutch of innovative enterprises are emerging in the space. The objective is not merely about environmental friendliness, but to deliver bottom-line results. His programme is part of the Luxin­ novation agency, supported by the economy ministry as part of its drive to diversify the Grand Duchy’s economy. One of the cluster’s main prongs is sti­ mu­lating bio-waste energy and recovery projects. “We have in Luxembourg at CRP Lippmann, CRP Tudor and the University, very competent people in the domain of bio-waste,” reprocessing techniques used to create electricity and heat, and reclaim valuable elements like phos­ phorus and water. There also are a number of Luxembourg companies in the space and Tock

says “now we’re trying to put them together, to come up with pilot projects” that cover “the whole value chain from bio-waste.” The means, for example, taking-in sewage sludge and processing the material to “use all the energy and nutrients that are in this waste, to produce energy and fertilizers.” In the end there will be no waste or toxic materials to dispose of. NEW SUPPLIES One such firm gaining traction in the field is Junglinster-based L.E.E., which designs biogas-run power plants for the agricultural, industrial and municipal waste treatment sectors. Such facilities create energy from kitchen and supermarket leftovers, manure and grass cuttings, among other organic material. The 11-year old company has been active across the Greater Region, as well as in Canada, China, India and Poland. It recently provided the engineering services for a 14 million euro plant that produces two megawatts of electricity, enough to run 80,000 25-watt lightbulbs. L.E.E.’s manager Jean Schummer says participating in official cooperative booths at industry trade fairs has been

vital to stretching his marketing budget, since his competitors are much larger global players. “With a small company like ours... it’s difficult to start working in new countries and being accepted by big international companies.” Nevertheless, he does not feel totally disadvantaged. “The question always asked by clients is, who are your references and when can we visit it?” Being able to invite prospective customers to Luxembourg to visit installed sites makes all the difference, Schummer explains. Another Luxembourg firm, Epuramat, redesigned the entire approach to wastewater treatment. Traditional plants use bacteria and heat to treat water, which generates large amounts of CO2 gas, explains Dirk Martin, sales and marketing director. The Contern-based company uses a low-energy approach to separate solids from liquids early in the treatment process, reducing cost and environmental impact at each step. This year it introduced a miniature wastewater treatment plant that literally fits inside a standardised 20 or 40 foot shipping container. It can treat water in places that are not connected to a

October 2011 - delano - 29

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23.09.2011 10:30:48 Uhr

Delano October 2011  

Delano Magazine October 2011

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