A former fortress, the Transylvanian town of Seini is among the oldest settlements in Romania. Located in the Somes river meadow and flanked by mellow hills of which the highpoint is represented by the northern Comja hill, Seini – Maramures County is currently a model to be followed as regards the implementation of the Smart City concept. Seini is the first town in Romania to produce energy from manure and household waste in a gas-to-grid biogas plant inaugurated in 2016.
The locality already appeared in documentary evidence of the 14th century, in the “Papal Tithing list of 1334”. In 1344 Seini becomes an ‘opidum’, a market town that will survive even after the destruction of the fortress in 1563. 425 years later, in 1988, Seini advances to the status of town. As early as in the 19th century, specifically in 1882, Seini was already a state-of-the-art settlement, having developed at a fast pace and running a rural court, tax office, land register, notary public, finance department and gendarmerie, three bank offices, telegraph — mail, and two casinos.
The history of the town shows that in 1875 the local alcohol factory founded 16 years before began to produce beer yeast. Other local facilities include an andesite tomb stone factory, a steam mill and a printing house. According to information published on the website of the Seini Town Hall, in the first decades of the 20th century there was a steep increase in the number of workshop owning craftspeople, as 80 licenses were released. The andesite quarry is also being inaugurated, as well as the Power Plant and the Abrasive Products Factory. Bridging time to reach the years after WW II, we see a mature development of the area, with the “Unirea” crafts cooperative founded in 1944.
As for the town’s clean energy plans, it all started in the winter of 2013, when the Seini Town Hall confirmed the investment to test and prove the feasibility of biogas production from manure and household organic waste through anaerobic fermentation, as well as of cogeneration energy.