Artichokes to produce clean fuel in Kozani

Prefectural officials in the northern city of Kozani yesterday heralded the launch of a pilot program to produce biomass fuel from wild artichokes in a bid to reduce dependence on local power production from highly polluting low-grade lignite. The wild artichoke is a high-yield perennial crop that can be cultivated without pesticides and would diversify the energy mix of the Public Power Corporation (PPC), which runs lignite-fueled power plants in the area, officials told a press conference. PPC would pay producers the market value of the biomass fuel they yield, the officials said, adding that producers would also be entitled to a state subsidy. Local producers are to have priority but the opportunity to join the program, for which cultivation costs will be covered during the first two years, will be extended to other producers.

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