March 2020. News update.

Due to outside disruption we have decided not to proceed with the Vukovar location for Community Power.

An alternative location is being investigated and as soon as the selection has been performed we will start again.

Interested in participation or have suggestions? Please contact us at martijn@sophsys.nl

 

Community Power I Vukovar (CPI Vukovar)

Early 2016 the idea on a green power plant started. Building a 100% green power plant, co-owned by the community as a way to assure involvement and acceptance from the local population in order to make it a success.

Late 2018 SophSys BV reached out to the HR government for advise on potential locations and opportunities and the selection procedure started. SophSys BV needed to define a site or city that would benefit most of the idea and has the needed resources and wanted solutions.

Vukovar was selected on basis of its development within HR state, level of unemployment, social geography and potential sources such as waste and demand for reliable power supply.

Community Power is a program developed under UN goals (SDG) and aims to develop a 100% green power plant using available resources such as waste, sun, water and storage to produce energy and supply it to the area.

Community Power has the following goals and criteria;

  • Energy produced must be 100% green
  • Local population must be involved either via Co-ownership or via financial injections into the community from within the plant
  • Lowering the overall level of unemployment in the area
  • Energy must be sold at a market or below market price
  • Energy to new companies settling in the area on a discount so to attract new jobs
  • Must be scalable in size and solution
  • Design and development of the site must be under Dutch supervision
  • Construction and all labor must be sourced local
  • Education as part of the core operations
  • Operation of site must be transferred to local sourced staff as soon as possible

In order to achieve these objectives, CPI Vukovar was designed around the waste problem. The City of Vukovar has a large amount of waste produced by the city inhabitants but the city also receives large amounts of waste from other cities within Croatia and the city has no real solution to solving the growing amount of waste collected. In addition, the dumping or open incineration of waste is under heavy pressure from the regulations.

During our research into possible locations, SophSys BV was informed that Vukovar would be the best available location to start this project and that the World Bank has an interest in developing this area as well.

Selected solutions.

From the research, SophSys BV has selected a set of solutions that can be implemented on this location.

Waste4me to reduce the flow of waste to the garbage dump

Bio based Battery to store the energy produced by the Waste4me unit

Water irrigation and waste water solution to enable agricultural development

Greenhouses to provide jobs in the area (and using the heat and CO2 from the waste plant)

In phase 2, SophSys BV intents to implement a large solar field in the area and a possible scale up for the Waste4me unit plus the positioning of a Kit Turbine unit to harvest energy from flowing water.

Goals explained.

Green affordable energy is key to making the project a success. Energy is a daily cost for many households and businesses and in order to get the parties involved, the price of the produced energy should be the same as the now available grid electricity. Same price is the minimum criteria, we aim to be under the current market price for energy (green or regular)

Jobs

As part of the social goal of CPI, providing jobs at the plant but also in the area is a part of the standard of operations. This means that all solutions provided in this project must be operated by local people and without having to source knowledge from outside the area. This goal was also used to decide in what way we handle the demand form the World Bank. This organization stated that Vukovar is a priority location and is positioned as area of interest by this organization. The World bank has financial support located for this area in Croatia and in accordance with the rules and regulations, the world bank will assist in projects in this area that supplies jobs via Greenhouses. This is why we decided to implement an large greenhouse project into the CP idea.

The jobs we create on the waste and power plant and in the greenhouses are just a start. In order to assist the local economy to grow, we will implement a limited time offer to companies that will relocate their operations to the Vukovar area. The offer will consist of a limited time offer/discount on the energy they need. By doing so, we want to promote the site and opportunities that are available and persuade the companies to move operations to this area and create new jobs. This in return will enable the economy to grow and will contribute to the overall wealth in the area.

The overall control over the development and construction of the plant will be done by Dutch specialists. These specialists will have oversight on the project, act as controllers to ensure the level of quality we want and they will bring the needed expertise for the job. Important is the demand from our end to these specialists that all workers that are needed and used in the process of actual construction are sourced locally. This way, we can provide (temporary) jobs on and around the construction site.

The initial management of the site will be done by Dutch specialists. During the entire construction and later during the operational time of the plant, the Dutch specialists will train local people to be able to take control over the plant. It is our intent to hand full operational control on the plant to local people as soon as possible, taking in mind that the level of quality on product, safety and social can never be compromised.

Overall, we aim to reduce the overall unemployment from a staggering 30% down to 20%. We expect to reach this goal using the above solutions and implementations.

Social

CPI is on core a social development and those goals are positioned higher to the economic goals of the plant. The involvement of the local populations has several advantages.

Being directly involved in the plant, it will build a level of commitment amongst the population. That commitment will show in the purchase of the energy from the plant but also in social protection and acceptance of the plant and its technology. In this way we intent to minimize the risk of alternative interests with third parties and this will be used as a form of protection from within.

In order to achieve this commitment form the local population, a foundation will be started. This foundation will hold a % of shares in the plant on ownership level. This foundation will participate in the required shareholder meetings and could admit ideas and suggestions to the management of the plant. The shares from this foundation are divided into certificates and those certificates will be

handed to each individual inhabitant of the city/area. The certificates are personal and cannot be handed to third parties and or handed over via inheritance. This way we prevent a financial trade on these certificates and possible outside influence. When a person is born, this person will automatically obtain a certificate from birth and when decided, the certificate will be returned to the foundation. This could mean that when the city/area prospers, the number of certificates will rise. Such a dilution of certificates could have effect on possible dividend.

In Vukovar there are approx. 25.000 people. Everybody registered at city hall as an official inhabitant will obtain such a certificate. As part of the investigation/feasibility study we need to investigate possible negative effects of owning such a certificate due to unemployment or bankruptcy. It could happen that owning a certificate with a monetary value, the owner is deducted in social welfare or state support. If investigation shows such a problem, we will implement an alternative plan. Still the inhabitants will have a certificate but in plan-B, this will not be a certificate of ownership but a right to vote on how to disperse the results of the shares. These results of the shares will then be fixed with a minimum result per year. This minimum outcome will be available to the certificate holders and they can nominate a social cause each year. During this election, held by the city, the certificate holders can admit a social goal within the city such as maintenance to playgrounds, social healthcare or financial support for social engagements for the city and its inhabitants.

The minimum result is a sum of money the plant will award to the foundation each year. Minimum means that it is a guaranteed amount of money. If the plant has a higher yield on dividend and the minimum amount is lower, the plant will award the dividend amount to the foundation.

Per example;

If the minimum mount is at € 50.000,- and the dividend will be € 60.000,- the plant will award the € 60.000,- if the dividend is lower than the € 50.000,- the plant will automatically award the € 50.000,- as it is the minimum.

The involvement of the local population can be achieved either via full co-ownership or via voting rights. Depending on the social situation and local legislation a decision shall be made and implemented.

CPI Vukovar, the solutions inside the project.

In order to make a selection on available and usable solutions, SophSys BV has consulted several specialists. Some of those specialists have a high political or governmental position and some have high technical knowledge or legal background. This team has helped select the city and the solutions we will implement. To make the decisions, we looked at available sources of energy (waste, water,  solar, wind) and to demographics such as number of people in the area, number of businesses, social status of the area and unemployment. All of these criteria helped SophSys BV to focus on Vukovar.

The plant will be  constructed in 2 phases.

In phase 1 we implement the most essential items, derived from our research. In phase 2 we will do a scale up on some items and also implement new parts such as solar.

In phase 1 we will implement the following;

Waste4me

The waste4me unit is a chemical recycling unit and one of the few  in the world (patented) that can use the pyrolysis technique 24/7 and with a multi flow. The unit can handle 8000 tons of waste per year and operate at 7000 hours per year making it the most efficient and clean full solution available. From the waste, a hybrid LPG will be obtained. This hybrid LPG will be converted via a gas generator into electricity.

As the machine itself will produce electricity via a generator, the excess heat from the unit can be harvested, making the unit even more effective in the production of electricity. The final waste heat, taken after the steam turbine can be used for block heating and or heating for the greenhouses. The emission of the unit contains Co2 and Co2 is mandatory for growing plants. The co2 from the unit will be run through a clarification unit to enable us the use of the Co2 inside the greenhouses. This way we make maximum effort on result on this unit.

Final extra is the residue from the unit. Processing waste will result in energy, Co2 for the greenhouses but also re-usable recycled materials such as steel, copper and fibers and an amount of residue that can be used in the production of asphalt. Each of these residue items have a monetary value that can contribute to the overall result of the plant.

As the project grows, the number of inhabitants of the city will grow and along with that growth comes a general increase of wealth. This increase in numbers and wealth will result in a higher consumption due to the better financial position of the people and industry in the area. This will enable the plant to do a scale-up in the years after starting the plant. The growing tonnage of waste will be a valuable resource for the plant and 2th Waste4me unit is planned in phase 2 of this project to accommodate the growth of available waste.

Bio Based battery

The energy made by the solutions will be stored into a new type of energy storage. Made from water, sand, salt and leaves this 100% bio degradable battery unit has non corrosive electrodes inside making it operational for 10 to 15 years with an 85% efficiency. By installing this battery unit we are able to stabilize the main grid in the area and thereby preventing damage to the main grid and power fluctuation. A stable energy grid will work as a magnet for computer driven companies to settle in the area as they demand a stable and save energy network. Along with the stable network, storing the energy locally will provide a much more profitable position for the plant in general. As energy is released when needed, the ROI on the energy is much higher compared to dumping it on the main grid on an open situation. Unloading on the main grid will not only damage the main grid but the financial results will also degrease as the monetary value of electricity varies during the 24 hour cycle.

Water management

The Vukovar region is known as “Black Soil” area. High energy grounds that have the potential of good yield per year on crops. After the war mid 90-s, the Vukovar region was devastated and the infrastructure was damaged. After many interventions and financial support by the HR government, the region began building again but irrigation stayed behind leaving the agricultural industry in dismay.

As part of the demands of the world Bank, CPI will implement a full irrigation and water management program in the area, revitalizing the agricultural industry and bringing new opportunities to the city and surroundings.

The water management will consist of an irrigation project for the fields and the greenhouses and a sewage water project for dealing with the industrial and municipal wastewater produced by the growing industry and growing population. The water management part of the project will provide

several full time jobs maintaining the system and analyzing the data from the program, enabling the agricultural industry to optimize the yield of the crops.

Greenhouses

Part of the overall policy of the World Bank is the development of the agricultural industry in the area. As the city has warm summers but also cold winters, implementing a greenhouse project is the best solution for achieving maximum result. A 10 hectare greenhouse complex will be build close to the waste4me unit and close to the city. Growing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and paprika a large number of people from the city can obtain a full time well paid job bringing the unemployment numbers down. The location of these greenhouses is based on the position of the waste4me unit and the expected growth and demand for expansion of the greenhouses. As part of the overall objectives, the greenhouses must be situated in a place where expansion is possible.

Heat and Co2 from the Waste4me unit is used inside the greenhouses as part of the desire to achieve maximum effect from the available sources. The design and construction of these greenhouses will be supervised by the Dutch specialist company but the actual assembly is done by local workers so to achieve the goal of new jobs in the area.

Supply of solutions and knowledge

SophSys BV will supply the required knowledge, specialists and equipment such as the waste4me and the bio based battery units. As SophSys BV is the developer of this project, they will have full control on the elements used in this project. SophSys BV will not become a shareholder in CPI.

The initial management board will be provided by SophSys BV for a limited period of time. After this period of Dutch management, the board will consist of local people with the correct knowledge and interests. SophSys BV will, as part of the project management, assist in training and education of these new people.

Legal structure

CPI Vukovar will be a 100% daughter of the Dutch CP Holding. CPI will be a Croatian limited company with a management board that reports back to the Holding in Holland. As initial management is performed by Dutch specialists provided by the holding, the CPI company will start internal training and preparations for a full transfer to local sourced management.

CPI will have several working identities. Each identity will oversee a specific part of the project.

1 will be the Waste4me unit, 1 for the greenhouses, 1 for water management and so on.

These working identities will have full responsibility for their part of the project and will be accountable for the results of the CPI project.

CPI will have a set of shareholders. Shareholders are private investors, business investors, governments and the foundation for the people. Together this group will form the shareholders and as such the actual owners of the plant. The plant has a social goal and that goal is mandatory. Financial success is also needed to achieve the goals so the management of CPI will have to operate with these 2 demands and operate the plant in accordance. In order to be successful, the plant needs to become profitable and stay profitable, attracting new investors to the group and making success a guarantee.

Energy company

In order to make the produced energy available to the city and its inhabitants, an independent energy supplier is preferred. However, this is highly dependent on the way in which the local energy infrastructure is organized and there is actually room for independent third parties who must have free access to the distribution and transport infrastructure.

Our goal is that Inhabitants of the area can purchase the produced energy from this independent  energy supplier at a competitive pricing so to achieve the goals of the project.

 

For more information or questions regarding the Community Power I Vukovar Project, please contact Martijn Beerthuizen on 0031-6-288-47-131 or email at martijn@sophsys.nl

 

Community Power is a development by and property of SophSys BV