BIOFUELS project boosts sustainable development and local business in cross-border region

Biofuels will play an essential part in reaching the EU 2020 energy targets. This innovative rural development project aims at developing the region’s capacity to produce biofuels from agricultural products. 


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A field of rapeseed which is used as a crop to produce biofuel.  © Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration A field of rapeseed which is used as a crop to produce biofuel. © Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration

" BIOFUELS was finalised in 2013, and has generated several new project applications. Three research projects capitalising its results are currently under evaluation, involving partners from Norway, Denmark, France, Portugal, Argentina and Cyprus. In addition, the Lead Partner is involved in two clusters, dealing with cooperation in the biogas sector and dual use of vegetable resources. "

Alina Butu, Beneficiary

Situated on the border between Romania and Bulgaria, the Giurgiu-Ruse region has a strong rural tradition and ideal conditions for agriculture. The aim of the cross-border project was to conduct studies on the area’s opportunities to produce biofuels from energy crops’ biomass. 

Implemented by five partners from both sides of the border, the project has established a solid cooperation network of organisations (SMEs, public local authorities, universities, research institutes etc.) interested in the production and use of biofuels. The technology was tested through numerous practical demonstrations of crop cultivation, oil extraction and chemical treatment of vegetable oil. Other activities included studies on related subjects, training courses, conferences, seminars and workshops for interested partners.

Throughout the project, implementing partners were contributing to an internet portal and joint database presenting the obtained results, accessible to everyone. 

2020 energy targets as a driver for growth

EU Member States have set ambitious energy targets for 2020. By then, renewables should account for 20 % of the total energy consumption, energy efficiency should increase by 20 % and no less than 10 % of transport fuels should come from biofuels. To reach this goal, each Member State must increase its own production of renewables and biofuels. 

In promoting biofuels production, Romania and Bulgaria have a great opportunity to achieve more sustainable farming and forestry practices and spur regional development, investment, growth and job creation. In short, transform the disadvantage of the mostly agrarian land into a real opportunity for development. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Biofuels - Source of Common Sustainable Development in the Cross-Border Cooperation area” is EUR 961 233, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 815 318 from the Operational Programme “Romania-Bulgaria Cross-Border Cooperation Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date