Agraferm Technologies AG, a leading plant manufacturer in biogas, biomethane and waste recycling plants, is expanding its internationalisation strategy to the Asian market. The company has chosen Seoul as the location for the subsidiary “af biogas” currently in the process of being founded. Korea is an ambitious country with growing environmental awareness. Environmentally friendly manure and waste disposal as well as active water protection are key themes in particular at the moment. It is precisely here that Agraferm uses its great expertise in fermenting a wide range of different feedstock. Three plants are to be built by 2017 and initially run by Agraferm itself to be able to guarantee a stable transfer of knowledge and the comprehensive training of personnel.
Korea – poetically called the “Land of Morning Calm” – is struggling a whole variety of environmental pollution problems that are interfering the idyllic dawn due to its economic boom. Not least, intensive agricultural and animal husbandry are threatening ground and surface water and are contributing to rising CO2 emissions. The extremely efficient well-tried Agraferm technology is ideally suited to environmentally sound waste disposal and the recovery of energy from waste material, such as manure and leftover food. In addition, there are great synergies within the Agraferm Group thanks to the subsidiary BTA International GmbH, which has already gained experience with regard to implementation in Korea and deals with projects in the bio-mechanical treatment and utilization of other organic waste.
That is why the Agraferm Group has been considering the decision to enter the Korean market for some time. Eike Liekweg, Member of the Board of Directors for Agraferm, reports on the development of the branch in Seoul:
First of all we travelled to Korea to get a picture on the ground and held numerous conversations. Afterwards several Korean delegations visited us and toured various of our reference plants in Europe. At the same time a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the government of Jeollabuk-do province. This very constructive exchange convinced us that now is precisely the right time.
Development of local biogas expertise
The plant manufacturer Agraferm has proved over the last few years that it can perform very well in the international project business. However, as a result of the great distance and cultural differences, entering the market in Korea only promises to be successful when the company has a permanent local representation. The subsidiary, called “af biogas”, will be operational in 2015.
Dr.-Ing. Kyong-Hee Choi, Representative of Korea for af biogas, explains:
We are planning to build the first plant next year and two more plants are to be added in 2017. The plants are going to be started up initially with in-house operation so that we can train the personnel adequately and guarantee reliable transfer of our efficient project management and technology knowledge.
The Korean subsidiary is represented as an exhibitor at the “Energy Korea” trade fair for the first time in November 2015.
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