WELTEC sells large grass-fed biogas power plant
August 26, 2013 - Belgium - Belgian investor and project developer NPG Energy has asked WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH from Vechta, Germany, to set up a biogas plant using grass silage.
By Scott Jamieson
The investor will also serve as the operator of the 2.4-MW plant, which is to go live in spring 2014.
This is the first order that the manufacturer has received from the Kingdom of Belgium. The biogas plant in the district of Limburg generates an amount of power that could supply close on 5,000 households.
However, the 19 GWh that will be generated every year will be consumed by the Spin-group BV, a company that needs the electricity for its production facilities in which special carpet yarns are manufactured in a demanding polymerisation process. The group‘s transition to green power demonstrates that sustainable energy concepts are gaining in significance in conventional sectors such as the textile industry.
The plant concept ensures efficiency in all areas. The generated heat will be used directly on site: The digestate will be extracted directly from the 2,000m3 second-stage-digester in order to be dried with the entire heat produced by the plant. The dry fertiliser will then be sold to fruit and winegrowers across the border.
The use of the 50,000 t of substrate every year will also be efficient. Initially, most of the employed substances will consist of maize silage (about 20,000 t). However, the operator will gradually replace the maize with other renewable substrates and agricultural leftovers.
A highly efficient mix from grease separators and a pre-mixed, ready-to-use substrate will account for another major portion of the input. Apart from plant residue, this mix will also contain fats and vegetable waste. Additionally, the two bioreactors of a capacity of 4,700m3 each will be fed with soap water from biodiesel production and cereals prune. This substrate mix is typical for Belgium, where biogas digesters have always been charged with diverse mixtures.
Apart from the stainless-steel digesters, the plant equipment comprises a second-stage-digester and two 80m3 dosing feeders. Besides the separation and the two combined heat and power (CHP) plants, the MULTIMix, which further shreds the input material prior to the entry into the digester, also comes from WELTEC.
The EU goal to raise the share of renewable energy in the Belgium energy consumption to 13 percent by 2020 can only be achieved with high-quality plant technology. The preconditions for the use of bioenergy are ideal, and its share in renewable energies is high, as the country offers a wide variety of raw materials and the biogas fermenters are capable of handling these.
The proportion of regenerative energies amounted to 3 percent in 2008 and is now about 5 percent. On the way to the 13-percent goal, the country‘s plant population still needs to be expanded considerably over the next seven years. However, Belgium has an adequate stock of incentives to provide, and the effective modernisation of the Belgian industry has become a growth driver that the entire country relies on.