The project Terraforming LIFE has received a grant of almost 6,3m EUR from the Environment and Climate Program of the European Union, LIFE, and it is the first project grant for a primarily Icelandic consortium. It is a joint project of the beneficiaries Landeldi hf., the Farmers' Association, Orkidea, Olfus Cluster and SMJ from the Faroe Islands and associates Blue Ocean Technology from Norway.
The project aims to develop a new method to produce fertilizer and biogas from the organic waste that is produced during aquaculture on land and from agriculture. It strengthens the circular economy of domestic food production, while reducing the carbon footprint and promoting a significantly more positive environmental impact in both agriculture and aquaculture.
Runar Thor Thorarinsson, project coordinator and representative of Landeldi, underlines the importance of the extensive collaboration: "This includes an extremely exciting opportunity for the utilization of organic side streams from fish farming on land. The products will benefit the Icelandic cycle system and improve the environmental impact of aquaculture by producing not only fertilizer for agricultural production, but also carbon-neutral fuel, electricity and heat."
Gunnar Þorgeirsson, chairman of the Farmers' Association, believes that the project supports the resilience and independence of Icelandic agriculture and food production. "One of the biggest challenges we farmers have faced in recent years has been the huge increase in fertilizer prices. This project will reduce its impact by increasing the availability of domestic fertilizers. Farmers are excited about the project, as they want to be at the forefront of developing solutions to the climate problem, but the project reduces agriculture's ecological footprint."
"The project involves a lot of knowledge and technology development for the implementation of the circular economy, which gives us all very exciting possibilities and opportunities for innovation and business development in South Iceland," says Sveinn Adalsteinsson, manager of Orkidea.
"The project fits well with the priorities of the municipality of Olfus when it comes to business development in the area and the organization of Green Industrial Parks. There is an emphasis on the circular economy and to use and reuse all resource currents as much as possible," says Ellidi Vignisson, mayor of Olfus.
The project starts formally on June 1st, 2023 and lasts for four years, for the benefit of all.