PROJECT Green Energy
Green Energy Prison
Developing skills and helping the environment with green production facility inside Bulgaria’s largest prison.
In Sofia prison in Bulgaria’s capital a new green production facility is set up.
The prisoners now get valuable training producing solar panel collectors and water heaters. IDN has been involved in sharing expertise on equipment and design of the production workshop as well as expertise on EU regulations regarding working conditions and environmental impact.
The purpose of the project is setting up a new “green” workshop in place of detention in Sofia for production of solar panel collectors and water heaters for environmentally friendly manufacturing of heat power for heating and hot water. The usage of solar panel collectors reduces the electricity cost of households and industrial manufacturers, turning the sun energy into heating power.
The project was funded by Green Industry Innovation Programme in Bulgaria and covered adaptation of the building and provided equipment in order to set up a new “green” workshop in place of detention in Sofia for production of solar panel collectors – black, selective and vacuum-tubular and water heaters for environmentally friendly manufacturing of heat power for heating and hot water.
GE “Prison Production” is a public enterprise responsible for economic activities of Bulgarian places of detention and placement of their products on the market.
Main activities of the project included:
- Construction and renovation works in the production hall;
- development and improvement of manufacturing units (workshops) in places of detention and their equipment with security and technical facilities, construction,
- Delivery of the necessary equipment for the production of water heaters and solar panel collectors
- Prisoners are occupied in production activities in the following fields and respective workshops: Construction/Repairs / Livestock and crop / Metallurgy / Furniture manufacture / Clothing manufacture / Production of PVC window frames / Woodworking / Ceramic manufacture / Industrial services;
International Development Norway has provided mainly consultancy services and has been involved in delivering expertise on equipment and design of the production workshop as well as delivering expertise on EU regulations regarding working conditions and environmental impact. The Norwegian partner has also contributed to the project with providing training, know-how and best practices.
The results of the project could be summarized as follows:
- Modernizing of production hall for solar panel collectors in place of detention in Sofia and purchase of new energy efficient equipment. The workshop is equipped according to the recent environmental standards and ecological parameters. The production process is based on the principles of efficiency, recycling and almost no waste.
- 130 prisoners have been trained to work with the specific production equipment.
- Application for registering a trademark (SINOX) has been submitted by the Project Promoter for the new product, based on the Law on patterns and utility models registration.
- Guide for “best practices” in the field of environmentally friendly technologies and solutions has been developed. The project is innovative at company level – it is a new green production process that has not only economic, but social impact (new skills for future professional realization of prisoners, low costs and bills for customers) as well as environmental impact (encouraging the use of alternative energy sources).
“The project is a good example for a green business model, where environmental practices will be incorporated across the value chain of the products” – said Norway’s ambassador to Bulgaria, Guro Katharina Vikør, after visiting the workshop recently. “The project results will not only have economic and environmental impact, but is also having a very important social impact. The prisoners will acquire new skills, which will give them a good advantage on the labor market after leaving the prison,” Vikør said.