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Biomass refinery: fluidized bed gasification plant with circulation 15,5 MW thermal output, 5 MW electrical output and 6,5 MW district heating capacity.
Image caption:
General view of the biomass plant © Griesserholding

I Description of the measure

Image caption:
Incineration plant © Griesserholding

Title in original language: Biomasse-Energie GmbH

Location of CNA: Austria

Municipality / regional entity: Town of Villach / Carinthia

Category of the experience: Measure
Type(s) of CNA:

Principal nomination: Technological

Thematic field(s):

Principal field: Energy

Spatial scale: Local
Time & duration:

Start date: 2007
Duration: without ending

Key word(s): energy development biomass refinery


The plant produces gas from wood chips on an industrial scale. The plant can produce electricity and heat. In the future it should also refine other products such as hydrogen, methane gas or CO2.


The plant has been planned, constructed and is running. In parallel work is being done in the field of research and development. Hydrogen is created in the refinery as a by-product in high quantities and very good quality. This hydrogen is now used by industry and for energy production in fuel cells.


The industrial plant in Villach is the first worldwide of this type. Its construction and degree of efficiency compared to traditional combustion technologies is unreached. 15'000 households can be provided with heat, 16'000 households with electricity.

II Assessment criteria

Mitigation effects: Very high

The plant produces gas from wood only from renewable resources and therby substitutes fossil fuels. The CO2 reduction is more than 70'000 tons per year.

Impacts on adaptation: Neutral


Impacts on environment:

- Landscape: Neutral
- Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Neutral
- Water / soil / air: Positive
- "Other": None

Through Villach’s efforts in enhancing renewable energies (the biomass plant is part of these efforts), the pollution with fine particle matter is reduced (in 2010 the thresholds were exceeded only 4 days compared to 15 days in 2009 and 25 allowed days). The wood is coming from the region (< 100 km distance).

Impacts on society:

- Social justice: Neutral
- Regional / cultural identity: Neutral
- "Other": None


Impacts on economy:

- Employment / job creation: Very positive
- Added value / income: Very positive
- Know how / competitiveness: Very positive
- "Other": None

20 persons are employed in the bioenergy plant, 150 persons work for the biomass production and transport.

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Low


Transferability: Very high

Through the development of the combustion technology towards industrial maturity this technology can in the future substitute fossil gas products by gas from renewable resources on a large scale and in many places. First contacts have been taken with the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia to export the technology.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: Low


Good governance: Very high

The Griesser holding is cooperating with other European companies and research institutes. Plant engineers, architects and the planning staff of the company participated in the project.

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Administration, Private enterprises

Limited liability company in private ownership of Hans Griesser.

Contact person(s):

Name: Biomasse-Energie GmbH
Institution: Biomasse-Energie GmbH
Address: Energiestraße 3, 9500 Villach
Phone: +43 676 5815801
Fax: +43 4242 59159

Online information: (website of the company), (media information by the town of Villach)

Filed under: Alpstar