During Baltic Slurry Acidification, a total of six investment projects were completed in six countries: Estonia (Estonian Crop Research Institute ECRI), Germany (Blunk GmbH), Latvia (Lauku Agro SIA), Lithuania (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences LUHS), Poland – (Institute of Technology and Life Sciences ITP), and Sweden (Br. Göransson AB).
The procurement process was carried out in accordance with national and EU tender regulations in combination with the strict procurement requirements of Interreg Baltic. Findings obtained during feasibility studies and lessons from a study trip to Denmark earlier in the project were also considered. The tendering process also included the elaboration of technical specifications. General specifications for slurry tankers, spreading and acidification equipment were designed by WP3 leader Janis Kazotnieks and was freely available for all the investment partners. Two types of acidification equipment were procured: five in-field and one in-storage. A total of € 1’345’257 was used (compared to a budgeted € 1’141’333). The investments are expected to stop 66’980 kg of nitrogen entering the environment via reduced ammonia emissions, and thus reduce the use of nitrogen mineral fertilizer. The use of sulphuric acid will also reduce the need to purchase of sulphuric mineral fertilizer.
The Estonian project partner ECRI invested in an in-field acidification system for research purposes. The procurement process wasn’t completely problem-free, which ECRI attributes to suppliers being inexperienced with SATs. ECRI recommends being mindful of this risk. The organization procured a Joskin 8 m3 slurry tanker from Eesti Agritehnika OU equipped with 3-meter-wide open slot disc injector and SAT equipment Biocover SyreN mini. The final investment costs (€ 144 960) were below the project budget of € 192 000.
The German company Blunk GmbH (see the investment in the main picture at the top of the page) was one of the three project partners which made the SAT investment on a purely commercial basis. The complicated process of preparing the tender documents delayed the tender process by six months and it only yielded an offer for € 460’000, which was far above the budget limitations. Because the machinery was too expensive, and some legislation related to the activities had changed Blunk decided to change the specifications and return to an ordinary construction of acidification equipment. This started another procurement process which resulted in the farm contractors investing in a large in-field SAT system containing a 30 m3 Kaweco slurry tanker equipped with a 24-meter-wide trailing hose spreading device and SyreN acidification equipment. The equipment was delivered in July 2018. The investment costs were € 366’825, which exceeded the budget of € 233,333.
The Latvian project partner Lauku Agro, which made its investment on a commercial basis, managed to carry out the most straight forward procurement process, beginning in July 2017 and ending with the machinery delivered 2,5 months later at the end of September 2017. Instead of buying brand new equipment Lauku Agro bought secondhand machinery in very good shape. The machinery consisted of an in-field acidification system from GOMA Viborg ApS with a Samson PG25 slurry tanker, a 24-metre-wide spreading device with trailing hoses and acidification equipment SyreN from BioCover. The equipment is used for spreading acidified separation liquids from pig slurry as well as digestate from biogas production. The total cost of investment was € 157’000, which fitted nicely into the project budget of € 162’000.
The Lithuanian project partner LUHS did an EU-wide tender for the equipment. Initially, LUHS wanted to procure a tanker of a capacity of 24 m3 and a 12-meter-wide trailing hose spreading device equipped with acidification device. However, the only offer received was for € 238 000 which exceeded the budget and was therefore rejected. The decision to purchase a smaller scale tanker was taken immediately and the second, only slightly revised, procurement was announced and finalized in three months. LUHS invested in an in-field acidification system from UAB Biržu žemtiekimas consisting of an AP 20 m3 slurry tanker, a 12-meter-wide spreading device with trailing hoses and acidification equipment SyreN from BioCover. The total cost of investment was € 223,474, which was still above the project budget of € 180’000.
The Polish project partner ITP purchased acidification equipment for their research farm. The procurement was done in two parts, both of which took 4–5 months. Each procurement yielded only one offer, and both were acceptable. ITP invested in a tractor powered in-storage acidification equipment from Orum Co for € 39’000, and in a small scale (2 x 12,5 m3) in-storage equipment from FAPO Co for € 22’000. The total cost of investment was € 61’000, which perfectly matched the project budget of € 61’000. The co-operation between ITP and ORUM was characterized as good and Orum delivered the machinery (December 2017) before the payment was made (February 2018).
Swedish project partner Br. Göransson invested in an in-field SAT system on a commercial basis with the aim of selling slurry acidification services to its customers. As Br. Göransson, like Blunk, is a farm contractor, the equipment is large containing 28 m3 AP slurry tanker from AP Gyllevongne A/S equipped with a 24-meter-wide trailing hose spreading device and SyreN acidification equipment from Biocover. The total cost of the equipment was € 384’618,75. Procurement of the SAT equipment was delayed due to difficulties in getting the first procurement approved by the MA/JS. There were uncertainties about which procurement method should be used due to the overall size of the investment, whether bid-at-three, national open procurement or EU-wide procurement. Public procurement legislation in Sweden is only for authorities not intended for private companies and therefore it is essentially not possible for private companies to comply with the legislation. After consultations with various agencies, it was still unclear about what rules applied in Sweden.