EKOGRID Oy, 18th May 2021 announces the appointment of Mr. Remo Moletti as a Senior Advisor effective from 1st May 2021. His key focus areas are business development and building strategic partnerships with new and existing partners especially in the…
EKOGRID is proud to announce the renewed partnership with Mares for the exclusive rights in Italy of EKOGRID solution on the hydrocarbon contamination, as a result of the great work done in these years and the successful cooperation. MARES…
A brief history of electrokinetic phenomena and their application in contaminated land remediation. The first thing that my dad said to me when I explained that I was doing some work for a Finnish Company who are using electricity and…
EKOGRID Oy is providing technology and expertise on electrokinetic soil remediation for EiCLaR project. Project’s press release: EU and CHINA FUND JOINT RESEARCH PROJECT ON BIOREMEDIATING POLLUTED SITES FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE On the 1st of January, 2021, the project EiCLaR…
There are a wealth of options for enhancing bioremediation but still some challenges with relying on this method for large scale projects. This article discusses the challenges of enhanced bioremediation for soil and groundwater remediation, such as low permeable soils…
EKOGRID™ technology was used to remediate hydrocarbon impacted sludge in a former sewage lagoon in Canada. Contaminants of concern were mainly petroleum hydrocarbons (BTEX/TPH). The area remediated was approximately 7500m2 with a total volume of over 15.000 m3 of sludge remediated. Petroleum…
EKOGRID is pleased to announce that Richard Lewis will be working as a Senior Environmental Advisor for EKOGRID Oy starting in February 2021. He will be supporting us with the implementation of existing projects as well as with the…
Group’s Press Release 21.1.2021 Finnish Environmental Technology Makes a Breakthrough in Africa Recowell Solutions Group´s technology successfully remediates first contaminated site in one of the world´s largest oil contaminated areas in Nigeria. Finnish Recowell Solutions Group’s technology was…
Helsinki, 14th Dec 2020 EKOGRID Oy announces the appointment of Tero Halmari as a Chief Executive Officer effective from 1st of September 2020. Tero came to EKOGRID as a Financial Advisor in January 2020 and was leading EKOGRID’s business reorganization process.
EKOGRID Oy and Mares S.r.l. (Italia) continue further their fruitful collaboration in the Italian Soil Remediation Market. MARES has the exclusive rights to utilize and distribute the innovative and sustainable EKOGRID™ soil remediation technology in Italy as key partner of…
EKOGRID Oy, 18th May 2021 announces the appointment of Mr. Remo Moletti as a Senior Advisor effective from 1st May 2021. His key focus areas are business development and building strategic partnerships with new and existing partners especially in the Middle East countries.
Remo has worked over 40 years in various international directorship positions such as EPC projects, marketing & sales, and a company representative in the Middle East. His world-wide experience will strengthen EKOGRID’s strategy building its long-term success.
“EKOGRID’s Enhanced Bioremediation Technology is a process providing excellent results treating and remediating challenging contaminated sites.” says Remo. “This technology has already proven to be an ecological, sustainable, and cost-efficient way for remediating the environment in many countries and regions. I am delighted to work with EKOGRID and being part of its goals cleaning up polluted areas and restoring environment for living and cultivation.”
Tero Halmari, CEO
+358 440 220 411
EKOGRID is proud to announce the renewed partnership with Mares for the exclusive rights in Italy of EKOGRID solution on the hydrocarbon contamination, as a result of the great work done in these years and the successful cooperation.
A brief history of electrokinetic phenomena and their application in contaminated land remediation.
The first thing that my dad said to me when I explained that I was doing some work for a Finnish Company who are using electricity and electrokinetic phenomena to clean up contaminated land was: “Aren’t they electrocuting the worms?”
Contamination of land and groundwater is a global environmental issue and there are a multitude of technologies and methods for addressing the problem. Different approaches are required for different types of contamination and even the same contaminants may need different remediation approaches on different sites based on specifics of the soil and location. There are armies of contaminated-land specialist (of which the author is not one) who assess and develop programs which best fit the needs of each case. Electrokinetics, specifically the method described in this article, does not yet have a prominent place in the contaminated land specialist toolboxes but this could be set to change in the years ahead.
What are electrokinetic phenomena? We have to head back to Moscow in 1807 when a German scientist by the name of Ferdinand Friedrich Reuss was playing around applying an electric current generated by the recently invented voltaic pile to two compartments of water separated by a clay barrier. He observed that water moved from the anode to the cathode through the barrier. This finding didn’t generate too much excitement in the scientific community at the time but, several years later, Robert Porret Jr, an English chemist, conducted some similar experiments and observed ‘electrically driven water flow’. He called this phenomenon electro-filtration which later became known as ‘electrical endosmose’ and is now referred to as electro-osmosis.
At around the same time, the French chemist Nicolas Gautherot, using the Voltaic pile as a new toy, placed water droplets between two electrically connected metal plates. He observed colloids (microscopically dispersed particles in suspension) moving through the water in response to the electrical current – a phenomenon we now refer to as electrophoresis.
Fast forward 200 years and electrokinetic phenomena now have applications in many disciplines. These include DNA sequencing, protein fractionation, immunoassay and in the cleaning up all sorts of nasty chemicals that have found their way into the soil.
Back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s trials were conducted with using electrokinetic phenomena to clean up contaminated sites. Electrodes were inserted into the soil and when a current was applied, contaminants, including heavy metals migrated towards the cathode. These could then, with varying degrees of effectiveness, be collected and removed. Although there was some success with the process of migrating contaminants for collection, there were also some negative issues such the soil becoming acidic when subjected to extended treatment. While these methods are still occasionally used, they are not mainstream treatment systems for contaminated land.
In the late 1980’s a system using electrokinetic phenomena to dry cement was established under the trade name X-Cel. It was found that if pulses of direct current with continually changing polarity were used, rather than applying a continuous current in one direction, the electrokinetic effects were greatly increased. To explain how this works, we can use a simple analogy. Think about sieving flour when making bread. If you pour the flour into the sieve and just push the flour in one direction, it would pass through the sieve but not very quickly and it would require a lot of pushing. However, if you tap the sieve every now and again, the flour will pass through the sieve much more quickly and with less effort. Using this analogy, a long pulse in one direction followed by a short pulse (tap of the sieve) in the other direction greatly increases the electro-osmotic effects of moving cations & water (the flour) through the cement or soil (sieve).
Alternating a long pulse in one direction and short pulses in the other, enhances electro-osmosis and can be used, amongst other applications, for distributing additives through the soil. However, if the pulses applied are symmetrical (say 40 milliseconds one way and then flipping to 40 milliseconds the other way), the electrochemical and electrokinetic processes will take place in the soil but there will be no net movement of ions in any one direction (and no build-up of hydrogen ions to cause soil acidity problems). What results is a continual micro-scale mixing of the particles throughout the soil. This mixing, combined with electrolysis, electric current induced desorption and other electrokinetic and electrochemical processes, provides a perfect cocktail of reactive particles and oxygen and greatly increases the bioavailability of contaminants for microbes in the soil to break down. The enhanced bioremediation can be so effective that the soil nutrient content becomes the limiting factor as the microbes use up nutrients as they metabolize the contaminants. When this occurs, the system can be switched to the long pulse, short pulse setup for a brief period in order to spread nutrient additives (and sometimes extra microbes) through the soil.
The question must be asked – if this process is so effective, why isn’t it being used to address soil pollution problems all over the world? The short answer is that it should be. There are probably half a dozen PhDs needed to understand the precise mechanisms of degradation and enhanced bioremediation which are induced by the pulsed electric current but the bottom line is that it really works. It is cheap to run (only about 500 kWh/month of electricity to treat 10 000m3 of soil), doesn’t require the application of any chemicals and can be easily installed in-situ so is, ultimately, a very cost-effective and sustainable remediation solution.
The Finnish company I mentioned (EKOGRID) has been developing and refining the patented system over the past 10 years and they have trialled and used it in commercial applications in different situations in many parts of the world treating more than 200 000 m3 of contaminated soils. Time and again it has proved to be highly effective in breaking down a wide range of organic contaminants. The system is fully functional and commercially available but, as with all things that are new, big companies like to see other big companies using new technology before they are prepared to adopt it themselves. Pulsed Electrokinetic Enhanced Bioremediation is still in the ‘early adopter phase’ but – watch this space. In 5 years’ time it could well be sitting right at the top of those contaminated-land specialists’ toolboxes.
Oh, and as far as the worms go…. my dad was pleased to hear that they don’t seem to be bothered by the tiny electrical currents – but I am sure there is another PhD in there somewhere.
Author: Richard Lewis, Senior Environmental Advisor, EKOGRID Oy
EKOGRID Oy is providing technology and expertise on electrokinetic soil remediation for EiCLaR project. Project’s press release:
EU and CHINA FUND JOINT RESEARCH PROJECT ON BIOREMEDIATING POLLUTED SITES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On the 1st of January, 2021, the project EiCLaR was launched. This 6.7 million Euro project funded by the EU and China is composed of 13 EU and 5 Chinese partners. EiCLaR will develop scientific and technical innovations for in situ bioremediation technologies that will be directly developed into industrial processes for the rapid, efficient, cost-effective treatment of a range of environmental pollutants such as chlorinated solvents, heavy metals and pesticides over the next 48 months. These technologies (Electro-Nanobioremediation, Monitored Bioaugmentation, Bioelectrochemical Remediation, and Enhanced Phytoremediation) will enable bioremediation approaches to expand their range of applications to industrial sites that contain complex, high concentration pollutant mixtures. This project will move the proof-of-concepts to industrial commercial processes through laboratory studies to explore the scientific base, scale-up techniques and field demonstrations. EiCLaR’s environmental sustainable and low impact methods will provide partners involved across contaminated land management value chains (researchers, site managers, developers, procurers, service providers, technology providers) with the tools to manage contaminated soil and groundwater, and improve the environmental quality across many sites throughout Europe and China.
Ecole Centrale de Lyon (Coordinator) (France)
r3 environmental technology limited (United Kingdom)
Technologiezentrum Wasser Karlsruhe (Water technology centre) (Germany)
University of Stuttgart (Germany)
Photon Water Technology s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
Waste Science and Technology, Luleå University of Technology (Sweden)
Technical University of Liberec (Czech Republic)
Société Publique d’Aide à la Qualité de l’Environnement (SPAQυE) (Belgium)
Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE) (United Kingdom)
Dutch Sino Business Promotions B.V (Netherlands)
BoSS Consult GmbH (Germany)
EKOGRID OY (Finland)
The Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) (Chinese coordinator)
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
Zhejiang University (Hangzhou) (China)
China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (China)
Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
There are a wealth of options for enhancing bioremediation but still some challenges with relying on this method for large scale projects. This article discusses the challenges of enhanced bioremediation for soil and groundwater remediation, such as low permeable soils, and reviews some of the options, including electrokinetics, for overcoming these challenges.
“Bioremediation Market Projected To Be Worth USD 334.70 Billion By 2027 Growing at a CAGR of 15.5%” states a recent report by Emergen Research. A prime example of the trend is KERP (Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program) which is moving to the remediation phase for the contaminated soil which remains from the Gulf War. Bioremediation has been chosen as one of the main remediation methods and the first remediation contracts are being awarded in 2021.
Due to the vast scale of global contaminated sites and increased focus from the authorities, more sustainable remediation solutions are being sort by a range of countries and projects. Simply excavating contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil is not viewed as a long-term sustainable option. There have been concerns raised, and some misconceptions, about in situ solutions such as bioremediation.
This article addresses some of the concerns when applying enhanced bioremediation to sites with contaminated land and groundwater.
What is Enhanced Bioremediation?
Bioremediation relies on soil microbes and appropriate environmental conditions, to degrade organic contaminants. In aerobic conditions, in the presence of oxygen, the end products are carbon dioxide and water. And in anaerobic conditions contaminants metabolize to methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas.
The microbes need to be compatible with the contaminants in the soil and available in sufficient quantities. Suitable microbes are often naturally present in the soil however they can be cultivated and then introduced to the contaminated area. Additionally, microbes need favourable soil conditions such as availability of oxygen, moisture, appropriate temperature range and a variety of macro- and micro-nutrients. All these factors need to be to be considered for the microbes to effectively function in their degradation role. The organic contaminants present in the soil will then be metabolized by the microbes, the contaminants effectively acting as the microbes energy source.
Enhanced bioremediation is optimizing the conditions for these biological processes by use of additives and other mechanisms such as electrokinetics.
In-Situ large scale remediation
The most sustainable, and often most economical, way to remediate contaminated soil is at the site, In-Situ, without excavating and transporting the contaminated soil to other locations for treatment. At very large scales In-Situ treatment is practically the only option. Large sites can however be complex, having a variety of soil conditions with contamination at different depths and ground water present. Low permeable and clay type soils have also historically been challenging to remediate in-situ.
Limitations of In-Situ bioremediation
Bioremediation by relying solely on natural attenuation has a poor record of success often simply consisting of long-term monitoring programs and very slow levels of natural degradation.
Even in situations where bioremediation has been aided by interventions, inefficiency have been caused by challenges such as incomplete site surveys and poor background information and challenging geophysical environments such as low permeable soils.
Long timeframes were a major limiting factor with these types of bioremediation projects, especially when redeveloping sites, as the investors and developers typically need to meet strict schedules. In-Situ remediation was seen as more uncertain from a scheduling perspective than simple excavations and mass transfers.
Enhanced Bioremediation is not immune to the above challenges but several engineered solutions are overcoming the obstacles.
Limits for injection bioremediation agents
When injecting bioremediation enhancing agents the first questions are often where, how much and how to monitor the success in doing this. Often multiple injection points are required with little space between the points and even then differences in soil types and layers and pockets of soils may cause uneven results for spreading the enhancing agents to the soil. High hydraulic conductivity makes the injection task easier if pressure or gravitational gradient can be used.
This injection approach can be challenging when dealing with sites that have large infrastructure or buildings on top of the contaminations. Such sites are also very challenging to excavate and remove contaminants soil, so other in-situ methods are required.
Geophysical conditions limit the effectiveness of injecting additives
Tight soil matrices such as silt and clay limit the effective application of injected bioremediation agents. Fluids will follow the preferential flow paths and will not be evenly spread through the soil.
The limitations in spreading bioremediation agents through the soil matrix in tight soils, deep locations and hard to reach contamination zones limits the effectiveness of injecting additives when used as the sole means of enhancing bioremediation.
Gas Exchange and availability of Oxidants and Reductants
When there are microbes present, nutrients available for keeping them growing and the contaminant has been made soluble enough to reach the microbes there can still be a lack of
oxidants (or reductants in the case of halogenated hydrocarbons). This is especially the case with deep contaminations and in fine-textured soils. Possible solutions include air sparging, chemical oxidation, pump & treat, multi-phase extraction, supersaturated water injections and electrochemical approaches.
Electrokinetically enhanced bioremediation
In fine-textured soils, injection and diffusion can be extremely limited however counter to this, electrokinetic processes are more effective the finer the soils. Electrokinetic approaches thus offer a means to overcome the obstacles and limitations usually associated with injecting additives to fine textured and challenging soils.
Electro-osmosis can be used to transfer bioremediation supporting agents to targeted areas over a distance of 5 – 7 meters from the injection point and especially well through a low permeable soils as low hydraulic conductivity is often coupled with high electrical conductivity. Such applications are achieved by applying an external direct electric current to the soil which results in movement of water-soluble remediation agents via electrokinetic mechanisms.
Besides aiding the injection of bioremediation enhancing agents, electrokinetic phenomena offer methods for developing and sustaining optimum conditions for bioremediation. Pulsed Direct Current (DC) can be used to induce oxidative and reductive reactions in soil and groundwater.
The pulsed DC approach will increase the rate of degradation and biochemical reactions via electrokinetic mechanisms which increase the physical mixing at the soil particle level. The capacitive electric load on the soil particles from the pulsed electrokinetic approach will breakdown water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, with the oxygen then being consumed as part of biochemical degradation reactions.
EKOGRID™ is an advanced oxidation and enhanced bioremediation technology which supports natural processes and can work with complementary remediation methods. EKOGRID™ utilizes electrochemical phenomena to generate oxygen and chemical radicals on soil particle surfaces and electrokinetic and electro-osmotic phenomena to increase availability of organic contaminants for bioremediation and chemical degradation.
Petroleum hydrocarbons levels prior to remediation were up to 23.000 mg/kg. The source of the contamination was primarily lube oil, which typically degrades very slowly due to the antioxidant additives.
The area was zoned for residential development and contamination levels where required to be reduced to levels agreed with the local authorities. The soil in the area was a sandy silt/clay and gravelly sandy silt/clay. Groundwater was not included in the EKOGRID remediation scope. Contamination was mainly in the sludge separated from the groundwater by the clay layer. The remediated zone was at depths of 0-2,5 meters.
Low electric conductivity of the soil at this site allowed for this volume to be treated with only one EKOGRID control unit. In total, 160 electrodes (10 mm diameter steel rebar) were installed on a 5-meter grid pattern in the contaminated area.
Site sampling was conducted by the contracted Environmental consultancy. The site was initially sampled from a total of 12 locations and subsequently from 3 areas identified as most contaminated. Sludge samples were collected on several occasions between September 2017 and October 2019. The Modified TPH concentrations at the most contaminated location are shown in the table.
|Sep 11, 2017||23,000 mg/kg (lube oil)||Exceeded Tier 1 RBSL|
|May 17, 2018||22,000 mg/kg (lube oil)||Exceeded Tier 1 RBSL|
|May 8, 2019||13,000 mg/kg (lube oil)||Exceeded Tier 1 RBSL|
|Jul 5, 2019||11,000 mg/kg (lube oil)||Exceeded Tier 1 RBSL|
|Oct 19, 2019||4,600 mg/kg (lube oil)||Below Tier 1 RBSL|
|Nov 7, 2019||6,700 mg/kg (lube oil)||Below Tier 1 RBSL|
Based on the last two sampling events, the Modified TPH concentration in the sludge were under the local remediation legal requirements and the clean-up was considered complete.
The EKOGRID™ System degraded the targeted organic pollutants in 20 months to concentrations well below the levels required by the local regulations. Usually EKOGRID projects target lower levels of residual contamination, working to meet clients and regulators requirements. This project provided a great result especially considering the difficult environmental conditions such as low electric conductivity of the soil and long and cold winter periods.
EKOGRID is pleased to announce that Richard Lewis will be working as a Senior Environmental Advisor for EKOGRID Oy starting in February 2021. He will be supporting us with the implementation of existing projects as well as with the drive to develop further partnerships in new markets.
Richard has worked in a wide range of Environmental roles within the energy sector over the past 17 years, spending over 9 years with BP and 4 years with an Equinor/ BP joint venture. He has been based and worked in UK, North Africa, Middle East and Europe and brings experience and knowledge from oil & gas projects and operating sites which are an important market for EKOGRID remediation technology.
Richard is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and full member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and has a Master’s degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Middlesex University in UK.
Richard said, “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with EKOGRID and help support with the expansion in use of their technology to clean up contaminated sites around the world. The technology has been tried and tested on six continents over the past 10 years and with it being a cost effective, low impact, sustainable solution the question is no longer ‘does it work?’ but ‘why aren’t more remediation projects using it?’. That is a good place to be.”
Tero Halmari, CEO
+358 440 220 411
Group’s Press Release 21.1.2021
Finnish Environmental Technology Makes a Breakthrough in Africa
Recowell Solutions Group´s technology successfully remediates first contaminated site in one of the world´s largest oil contaminated areas in Nigeria.
Finnish Recowell Solutions Group’s technology was successfully used to remediate oil contamination in Ogoniland, Nigeria. Foundations for the success are a long term commitment to addressing environmental challenges in Nigeria and working together with local partners. The Group was one of the first actors to operate in the area. This project follows the success of the Group’s initial demonstration in the site back in 2018.
As the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), managed by the Nigerian government, proceeded to the remediation phase, Recowell Solutions Group’s technology was used to remediate Lot 4 of the first 21 sites allocated for soil remediation. Sites were allocated via international tendering. The project will scale up in the coming years. UNEP as part of the board of trustees of the Ogoni Restoration Fund, coordinates budgeted 1 billion USD funds for the soil and groundwater remediation in Ogoniland.
“We succeeded remarkably well in our first actual project, as well as with our previous demonstration project in Ogoniland. The investments made together with our local partners will now be used to target more projects in Nigeria and especially with HYPREP,” says Jussi Koskinen, Chairman of the Board, Recowell Solutions Group.
Oil contaminations generated in Nigeria in the past decades are vast. There are tens of thousands of square kilometres of contaminated areas. Alone in Ogoniland UNEP’s Environmental assessment recommended an initial budget of 1 billion USD for the first five years of remediation. The full-scale remediation work will take decades.
Recowell Solution Groups technology is optimal for the efficient remediation at the contaminated sites and there is no need for excavation and transporting the soils for off-site remediation.
“We strongly believe that the recent success will increase the interest for our technology. Our combined solution is very effective for remediation of both contaminated soil and groundwater. There are very few alternatives for cost efficient groundwater remediation such as ours,” adds Koskinen.
Recowell Solutions Group offers a combined technology for the remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated soil and ground water and clean-up of oil-spills. The essence of the methodology are the microbes capable of degrading petroleum hydrocarbons. The Group’s solution maintains the optimal environmental conditions at any depth and soil type, for efficient remediation to meet the targets set by the authorities.
Firstly, the biodegradable oil-absorbent and slow-release nutrient source ORS-SORB is mixed with the contaminated soil to contain the petroleum hydrocarbons. Remediation is kick-started by bioremediation solution KEEEN OSC, including high-performance enzymes and non-toxic bio activators. Työkone Koivisto Oy’s expertise on soil mixing and excavations is used for advisory on the site works. EKOGRIDTM Enhanced Bioremediation Technology is applied to cover the whole polluted soil volume to create oxygen and free radicals and further enhancing the bioremediation by mixing the ions, water, microbes and the petroleum hydrocarbons within the whole treatment volume.
Jussi Koskinen, Chairman of the Board, Recowell Solutions Group
Tel. +358 50 695 33,
Helsinki, 14th Dec 2020 EKOGRID Oy announces the appointment of Tero Halmari as a Chief Executive Officer effective from 1st of September 2020.
Tero came to EKOGRID as a Financial Advisor in January 2020 and was leading EKOGRID’s business reorganization process. In his new role Tero will oversee general management and business development. Tero continues supporting EKOGRID long-term success with his international experience in various positions.
Tero Halmari is a Finnish native and holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Helsinki. Tero Halmari has over 30 years working experience in banking, investment, financial management and board memberships. He has worked in the EBRD over 10 years in several positions and as a CFO in leading electronics retailers in Bulgaria and Romania. He has also experience from senior management positions in private equity funds.
“Remediation of contaminated sites is one of the most acute environment restoration challenges both in develop and developing countries. Related environmental and especially health risks are the largest liabilities for future generations. Affordable and sustainable environmental remediation is needed to clean-up these areas.” says Tero. “EKOGRID Enhanced Bioremediation Technology offers a solution which is economically competitive and environmentally friendly and more sustainable than traditional dig and dump remediation methods. This will undoubtedly play a key role in remediating contaminated sites globally.”
EKOGRID™ Electrokinetic Remediation solution is fast becoming the partner-of-choice of government agencies, municipalities, land developers and energy companies alike to eliminate environmental disasters. EKOGRID electrokinetic oxidation technology produces controlled low voltage pulsed electric field in a polluted area to amplify the remediation power of nature. The patented technology has proven to be an ecological, sustainable, and cost-efficient way for remediating the environment already in fifteen countries across all continents.
Helsinki, 13th November 2020 – Greentech remediation specialist and Technology Supplier EKOGRID Oy today announces continuation of the mutual collaboration agreement with Italy’s top remediation company Mares S.r.l., a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum SpA Italy.
EKOGRID’s co-operation agreement with Mares dates back to May 2018 and originally covered the clean-up of petrol stations in Italy using the pioneering EKOGRID in-situ remediation solution. The co-operation was then expanded to cover all Italian market. The year 2020 has been challenging because of the COVID-19 and e.g. travel restrictions even within Europe have caused obstacles to the ways of managing the projects. Despite that, collaboration with Mares S.r.l has been fluent and new models of co-operation have been developed. Already two new projects have been commissioned in Italy since April 2020. Newly upgraded remote monitoring protocols, improved guidelines, and most of all enhanced proactive support from our partner Mares have enabled us to be successful, says Sami Humala, Sales Director of EKOGRID Oy.