Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit has been given to Energo-Zelena d. o. o., a rendering plant for the treatment of hazardous animal by-products, which ceased its operations last year.
The company based in Inđija, 40 kilometers northeast of Serbia’s capital Belgrade, received the certificate from the Provincial Secretariat for Urban Planning, Construction and Environmental Protection, the authorized institution within the Government of Vojvodina, the country’s northern province.
The facility is designed to process hazardous animal by-products that are no longer allowed to be consumed either by humans or by animals. The final products, after treatment, are meat and bone meal and tallow, used as fuel and for biodiesel production, respectively.
Handing over the document to Energo-Zelena’s director Tom Hanson, provincial secretary Slobodan Puzović said this is now the only facility in Serbia that can process animal waste in accordance with the highest standards of environmental protection of European Union, as quoted on the official website of Government of Vojvodina. He added there are only two other facilities in Serbia that process animal waste, but with a limited capacity and lacking very important standards. Hanson considered the permit a valuable gift, adding it gives great motivation for the enterprise, which stopped operating in November due to the non implementation of the Serbian laws and regulations.
The issuance of the IPPC permit had been due in October last year. In November, Energo-Zelena and its parent company, Zelena N. V. of Belgium, introduced arbitration against Serbia at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC, United States, citing the government failed to enforce its own legislation concerning the treatment of animal by-products, thus jeopardizing the viability of Energo-Zelena’s operations. The enterprise issued a press release at the time, saying it had suffered substantial and recurrent damage and losses and that it had been “continuously exposed to unfair competition and blatant discrimination.”
In total, 11 IPPC permits have been issued in Serbia. Five are for new and six for old facilities. There are 165 old facilities in total, including the six mentioned above, which have to get the IPPC permit by 2020. Twenty years ago, more than a dozen factories were processing animal by-products. At the moment there are two factories left for hazardous ABP treatment, neither of two fulfilling even elementary environmental and safety standards. As a result of this situation the regulations on ABP treatment have been altered in February 2015.