Ghent Bio-Energy Valley was founded at the initiative of Wim Soetaert in July 2005 as a Public Private Partnership between Ghent University, the City of Ghent, the Port of Ghent, the Development Agency East-Flanders and a number of industrial companies related to the Ghent region, active in the fields of generation, distribution, storage and use of bio-energy.
The driving force for the establishment of GBEV was mainly of a political nature. By joining forces, companies were hoping to obtain an as large as possible production quotum for biofuels from the Belgian government. In addition, the partnership should help them to tackle common problems related to production, feedstock or infrastructure. Finally, GBEV also provided a platform to inform the general public on these new products and technologies in a concerted way.
GBEV finally succeeded in acquiring 80% of the Flemish quotum for biofuels in October 2006, representing an investment of 120 million EURO in the port of Ghent. Production at Bioro and Alco Bio Fuel started in the spring of 2008.
Also In 2008, GBEV obtained a legal identity by transforming into a non-profit organization. In spite of what the name suggested, GBEV has always supported the development of all biobased activities, including bioenergy.
In order to better cover our scope of activities, a name change was inevitable in 2013: Ghent Bio-Economy Valley. Where indeed it all started with bioenergy activities originally, a whole new range of activities have been introduced over the last few years. The new name “Ghent Bio-Economy Valley”, is therefore a better reflection of the current activity range.