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Using the power of nature sustainably

"We create value!"

ECOKRAFT AG offers innovative systems and modern processes for waste prevention and recovery of valuable ingredients or energy sources. For its customers, ECOKRAFT looks for the optimal overall solution from a wide range of manufacturers. This also includes energy consulting as well as planning, establishment and coordination of the technologies on site. Implementation is based on feasibility studies and profitability calculations. The company has already been involved in a large number of research projects worldwide.

François Baumgartner spoke with Reinhold Eder, board member and CEO of ECOKRAFT AG about sustainable business and renewable energies.

Mr. Eder, why did you found ECOKRAFT?

Many residual materials are all too quickly declared as waste and in some cases even disposed of at a cost, simply because the potential of the material is not recognized. We want to actively fight against this wasteful mentality and show our customers how to produce valuable pellets from their existing materials. Often, reshaping is what makes the material usable in the first place, such as for transport, storage, and dosing.

Please tell us the unique selling point of ECOKRAFT AG.

We make what works on a large scale feasible for small volumes. A normal pelleting plant produces from 3 tons of material per hour. The investment sums here amount to more than 1 million euros. Our solutions produce a very good quality starting at 200 kilograms per hour. Instead of expensive hammer mills, we can work with small granulators that produce a particle size of about 6 mm. Normal presses can usually only process the finest powder, but we produce, for example, feed pellets with a really granular structure, and that makes us unique. Small solutions, which are brought into position with a lift truck, are able to process up to 700 tons of material per year. In the case of wood, this corresponds to a volume (calorific value) of approx. 350,000 liters of heating oil.

What products and services do you offer?

We offer the complete range of services from a single source. From shredding, transport, bunker systems and pelletizing to cooling, screening and packaging in commercial sizes. Already in the planning of the plant as well as in the technical implementation and installation with training of the employees on site, the customers can count on our know-how and reliability.

Who are your customers?

We started with wood producers, many wood chip producers screened out the material and simply threw away the screening material, as it was only fine dust and small splinters. The wood chips were sold for 80 euros per ton. With our solutions, the screening material could be transformed into industrial pellets very easily and cost-effectively, and these are traded at a price of 160 to 180 euros, which means that the supposed waste brings in more than the main product. Our regular customers now also include feed manufacturers with a focus on organic feed. Here, the conversion often results in an increase in value of up to 1,000 percent. The raw material costs about 300 euros per ton for meadow hay, which is then sold as meadow treats for 3 euros per kilo. This corresponds to a price per ton of about 3,000 euros. That makes pelleting really fun!

Mr. Eder, you have developed your own plant. How long did the proof of concept take?

We have been developing plants and components designed and built specifically for our customer requirements for 5 years. It often takes between 15 and 24 months from the idea to the production-ready product. We are currently working on a brand new pelleting press that best meets all the requirements of our various customers.

What distinguishes this technology?

Easy handling, flexibility, small footprint, durability and a very good price-performance ratio. It is not uncommon for the investment costs to be recouped within a period of 24 to 36 months. Which industrial solution can make that claim? We produce high-turnover machines and we are very proud of what we achieve here.

When will you launch the new plant technology?

The new solution will be launched as a series product in spring 2019. We have already established sales partnerships in France and England. The plant technology is intended to become a key technology on the market and clearly demonstrate: ECOKRAFT focuses on quality, scalability, innovative solutions and technological progress in pelleting presses.

What has been your sales growth in recent years?

We have been growing at double-digit rates for the past 5 years and the growth opportunities are far from exhausted. So from our point of view, the "sustainability" growth area offers enormous opportunities. But we want to do it under our own steam, which is why we are growing slowly but steadily.

What corporate goals have you set yourself for the next few years?

We want to continue to grow consistently and expand our product portfolio even further. In doing so, we will continue to rely on a smart and robust innovation strategy. Many customers need drying, for example, and so that will also be a topic for us in 2019.

Mr. Eder, thank you for the interview.


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