Kompostierplatz Eglisau

Axpo Biomass in Eglisau

As per 1 September 2020, Axpo Biomasse AG took over the composting plant in Eglisau. This plant has been in service since 1989 and plays an important regional role in the processing and recycling of green waste. With this acquisition, Axpo is implementing its expansion strategy in the biomass sector and at the same time strengthening her presence in one of the most important Swiss regions.

Axpo has been exploiting the potential of biomass for more than 12 years, producing electricity, biogas, thermal energy and natural fertilisers. This renewable energy scores particularly well thanks to its life cycle assessment and sustainability. It's the time of the green economy: the biomass sub-strategy, which was adopted in 2019, focuses on growth and diversification. Accordingly to  the input material should be increased and the quantity and quality of the output products for the market should be systematically raised. 

The takeover of the composting plant in Eglisau is therefore a first successful step towards implementing the goals of this sub-strategy, as over 10,000 tonnes of green waste are processed here every year. The facility in the north of the canton of Zurich is Axpo's sixth composting plant, bringing the total number of Axpo Biomasse AG facilities to 21. Axpo is thus consolidating its position as Switzerland's largest recycler of biogenic waste. 

Map of biomass site in Eglisau
Solutions with local partners

The whole project started in 2019, when Strässler AG had been looking for a follow-up arrangement for the place in order to focus more on its core competencies of construction and real estate. Axpo submitted the first non-binding offer in October 2019, and the purchase agreement was signed by both parties in June 2020. At the end of July, Axpo received the operating licence from the Canton of Zurich, and the final signing took place on the day of the official takeover, 1 September 2020.

Axpo emphasizes the importance of finding solutions together with local partners. The cooperation with the SME Strässler AG has been very successful and customers have responded positively to the change. Questions regarding the change of ownership could be answered directly on site. In addition, a new regional manager with many years of experience has already been found, who will begin work on 1 January 2021. In future, the site will be managed with 1.5 full-time positions. Various marketing and communication activities are planned for spring 2021 in order to anchor the site more firmly in the region and make Axpo better known to the local population. In the future, the site will also work closely with the nearby fermentation plants and ensure that input materials and compost products are optimized.

"By separating input material and subsequently exchanging it with surrounding fermentation plants, recycling can be opti-mised and the quality of the end products significantly improved".
Christof Brogli, Head of Composting Facilities at Axpo
What were the reasons for the takeover?

Strässler AG has successfully operated the composting plant in Eglisau since 1989. On the site, green waste material from landscape and garden maintenance, as well as from households and businesses, is received and processed into valuable compost. In the region, the composting plant is an important cornerstone in the recycling of compostable material. The population of the canton Zurich is growing rapidly and the need for processing sites is increasing. But they are difficult to develop due to stricter cantonal regulations.

The plant is processing around 10,000 tonnes of input material per year. Under Axpo, the output products are increased from two to eight (six humus/compost products and two cover products). In addition to normal compost, high-quality substrates such as lawn soil or universal soil can also be obtained. In addition, four bagged products can be purchased. The new badge system simplifies the unloading process for commercial customers.

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