Interregional Logistics- and Procurement Network for Forest Fuel in Austria

A concept for a cooperative forest fuel supply chain network for a large part of Austria (regions of Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna) is developed in order to minimise transport-, storage- and total system costs while simultaneously increasing supply guarantee for the plants.

Short Description




In Austria, the use of bio fuels has been promoted by law since the year 2002. Several bio fuel-fired power plants have been built, in turn resulting in a strongly increased demand for fuel, and especially for forest fuel. The present study presents the design of a cooperative forest fuel supply network for an area including the five Federal States of Austria (Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna) and outlines the resulting cost advantages compared to uncoordinated procurement. Coordination as well as minimizing transports between the forest, terminals, and power plants and synergies with enterprises of the forest-based industry offering free capacities for chipping, storing, and the manipulation of forest fuels are the main benefits of the presented cooperative supply network.

The procurement of all CHPs that cannot be supplied with forest fuel by their nearby surroundings (district) can be ensured with costs of 17 M Euro and within an average transport distance of 122 km. This optimal procurement strategy was derived by solving an LP model. The LP model states a cooperative procurement strategy that results in lower costs than in the actual situation where each CHP plans its procurement alone. Approximately 20 to 40% of the actual procurement costs could be saved by way of cooperative planning.

Scenario analyses show that rising inland energy wood utilization rates is tremendously important for CHPs' economic performance. Compared with the actual inland energy wood utilization rate (base scenario) an increase of approx. 50% would lead to a cost reduction of approx. 33%

Using LP, a forest fuel supply network ensuring minimum procurement costs is designed for the study region including 5 Federal States of Austria. The network design defines for each CHP its supply channels and respective supply volumes. Furthermore, it decides which terminals to open as well as the terminal volumes. 19 regional terminals were set mainly in districts with a high forest fuel potential and a low inner-district demand. In each of the 5 Federal States, one potential location for an industrial terminal was found, 4 of them are part of an existing forest based industry plant and one is located at Austria's largest new CHP (Vienna). The agricultural terminals are only available in beet growing regions, in which 14 of them were selected. Five agricultural terminals are available year-round, whereas 9 others are not during beet harvest season. Terminals should be diffused over the total study area, but because of the low system costs and enormous capacity of the industrial terminals, nearly no terminal was located in their nearer surroundings.

Project Partners

Project management

Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. Manfred Gronalt
Universität für Bodenkultur
Department für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften
Institut für Produktionswirtschaft und Logistik

Project partners

  • Bäuerlicher Waldbesitzerverband Salzburg
  • Biomasse Wolkersdorf GmbH & Co KEG
  • Fritz Egger GmbH & Co. KG
  • Landwirtschaftskammer für OÖ Forst und Bioenergie
  • Österreichische Bundesforste AG
  • Waldverband NÖ

Contact Address

Universität für Bodenkultur
Institut für Produktionswirtschaft und Logistik
Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. Manfred Gronalt
Tel.: +43 1 47654-4411
Fax: +43 1 47654-4417