EKOMED 2021 is composed of four complementary projects that make up four facets of a circular economy model. It includes environmental protection, renewable energy, carbon reduction, while contributing to the creation of jobs that will balance the seasonal tourism activity.
The Montenegrin coast is one of the most interesting and varied coasts, both in terms of nature and culture. Natural by its tormented relief, cultural by the various civilizations which crossed there. Since the end of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, tourism has developed very quickly and sometimes in an uncontrolled way.
On the one hand, the coastline has been urbanised on an infrastructure network that is often insufficient for water purification and waste treatment. This poses a risk of pollution to aquatic fauna and flora due to the accumulation of plastic waste and wastewater.
On the other hand, the traditional rural areas bordering the coastal zone have been abandoned and often invaded by invasive vegetation that encourages forest fires. Today they are threatened by an exclusively tourist urbanisation and by the loss of a natural, cultural and immaterial heritage which was the very attraction of these territories.
The project therefore consists of studying and developing strategies, programmes and innovative tools for the enhancement, protection and maintenance of natural areas on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro.
It is intended to be replicable on the Mediterranean coastline, which includes many sites that urban development and tourism threaten to degrade. Contacts have already been made with partners in Morocco, Albania, Lebanon and Croatia who are interested in developing the project.
It comprises several programmes that will bring together the skills of different partners (local institutions, companies, NGOs, experts) for both the study and implementation phases. These four programmes each include a study phase and an implementation phase. Although complementary, each of them has its own objective and can be treated independently.
The whole forms a coherent and sustainable ecological project, a circular economy model including : Environmental protection, renewable energies, reduction of carbon emissions while preserving financial balances and contributing to the creation of rewarding jobs that will balance the tourist activity to allow employment throughout the year. All the partnerships developed during the different programmes should represent a model of participatory and democratic engineering.
The project is located locally in the Vrmac region, a peninsula between the Bay of Kotor and the Bay of Tivat. The mountainous central part is deserted and neutralised by invasive vegetation that hides ancient historical remains, hamlets and abandoned terraced crops. It is in the process of being listed as a protected natural area.
The project, which is planned in its entirety, includes the clearing of the central part and the establishment ofa plan to secure the site in cooperation with specialised organisations. But also, the creation of a farm/workshop for the valorization of biomass, in the form of pellets. Finally, the development of agricultural activities (olive trees, vines, livestock, medicinal plants) and bioproduction (distillation of essential oils, organic health and beauty products, etc.). The enhancement of the rural and cultural heritage and the promotion of ecotourism are also central points of this local action.Forest fire prevention on the coast
Protection and enhancement of the site
Rural revitalisation and job creation
The project will require a preliminary feasibility study including the various local and external partners.
According to the NGO WWF, 600,000 tonnes of plastic are dumped into the Mediterranean every year, making it the largest plastic waste accumulation area in the world. It is estimated to be four times more polluted than the "7th plastic continent". This is less visible because the Mediterranean concentrates millions of plastic particles on which many chemical pollutants are concentrated. The proposed solutions can be replicated and thus contribute to the preservation of the marine ecosystem.
The project therefore consists of collecting waste at sea, in the river and on the shore. The collection will be carried out by a flat-bottomed barge (12MX6) equipped with collection nets and collection bags ( Thomsea).
The barge will be equipped witha compressed air engine (Master Renault) from Anthos Air Power (0 emissions).
It will be designed to be visible during the tourist season and will be part of a "clean Mediterranean" promotional campaign.
The shoreline collection will be carried out by a mobilisation of NGOs and volunteers who will participate in the campaign. Collection from the sea will free the coast from truck traffic during the tourist season.
Treating all types of waste without any polluting emissions while producing energy is one of the most ecological solutions possible. The project therefore consists of building a waste treatment station using the high-temperature pyrolysis system developed by the company Synecom.
The small size and flexibility of the installations allow municipalities to be independent in the treatment of their waste and to amortize the investments and operating costs through energy production.
Two types of stations will be offered :
A fixed station which will aim to treat and valorise the surplus of urban waste during the tourist season as well as the sludge from the sewage treatment plant associated with biomass waste during the off seasons (autumn, winter).
An experimentalmobile station equipped with laser technology mounted on a trailer that can treat the various illegal dumps as well as waste from isolated villages. These stations will be powered solely by compressed air and will therefore not emit any CO2.
In both cases the stations will be equipped with generators to produce stored energy in the form of compressed air. The project also includes equipment and generators with compressed air engines.
Many coastal sites on the Mediterranean coast, ports, marinas, hotel complexes, islands, are often difficult to access by land. Allowing the treatment of their waste, on site, without any pollution, while supplying them with energy and drinking water, represents a major asset for the ecological transition of these regions. This model of ferryboat with a low-carbon engine could develop and reduce the environmental impact of this mode of transport.
The project consists of the construction of a prototype of a waste treatment plant boat, using the high temperature pyrolysis system developed by the company Synecom. The boat (a small recycled ferryboat) will make it possible to treat the waste on site without any dangerous emissions.
It will be particularly adapted to the treatment of plastics recovered at sea (see Eko-barge project) as well as the treatment of waste from hotels in the marina, ports and coastal towns that are invaded during the summer period.
The motorisation of the ferry will be carried out by an engine adapted to compressed air with the kit developed by the Anthos Air PowerCompany.
Compressed air will be produced on board by waste treatment and by energy from photovoltaic panels.
The energy produced will be used to power a reverse osmosis unit to deliver fresh water (particularly in the case of the islands). All operations (moving the boat, waste treatment, production of fresh water) will be carried out without any CO2 emissions. A cold room fed by the exhaust of the engine air at -70* will allow the transport of sensitive products.