There’s been a lot of talk about using biomass to supply energy lately. While firewood is the most common source of energy in the EU, fruits and even hay are under consideration. The company Strasser Stone in St. Martin — the largest to work with natural stone in Austria — is one of the proponents of wood as fuel.
By using regional wood supply instead of expensive heating oil, Strasser has saved 80,000 liters of oil per year, and reduced heating costs by more than 60%. The necessary heating techniques were developed by the Machinery Syndicate of Upper Austria, which also acts as a contract partner.
Strasser Stone uses a wood-chip heating system — and all the wood used is local. Not only does this reduce heating costs, but the wood itself is a renewable resource. CEO Johannes Artmayr also believes that wood is less damaging to the climate than oil, which he says is just getting more and more expensive anyway.
Around a thousand cubic meters of wood-chips from Mühlviertel are necessary to generate heat for Strasser, and it’s delivered from local vendors through the Machinery Syndicate. Franz Moser, an engineer employed by the syndicate, is enthusiastic about the cooperation between agriculture and economics. “We’re also happy that we can save around 240 tons of CO2 to help protect the environment,” he said.
Neither Strasser nor any representatives of the Machinery Syndicate made any mention of reforestation policies.
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