Four biogas plants to boost green energy in France

Paul Boughton

Biogas plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower GmbH, together with partner Domaix Energie in Alsace, France, has started rolling out four agricultural biogas plant projects in France.

Apart from agricultural substrates, the biogas plants, whose construction has already started, will use sludge and food leftovers. This documents the trend that French biogas plants are increasingly fermenting industrial leftovers. Since the introduction of the separation and utilisation of kitchen waste from large catering establishments in France at the end of 2011, organic waste from schools and company cafeterias must be used for the production of energy.

Accordingly, Weltec will integrate hygienisation units in order to utilise the substances of category 3 according to the EU directive.

Another common feature concerns the use of the heat: In all four biogas plants, the residual heat will be used in a digestate dryer in order to reduce the amount of liquid manure and market the dried digestate.

Thanks to the heat utilisation concept, the four biogas plants have an efficiency of at least 70 per cent, enabling the operators to benefit from the heat and power bonus, which is up to EUR0.04/kWh in France.

Two 600kW plants are currently being built. The plant in the département of Charente makes use of a 3,000m³ stainless-steel digester, while the other 600kW plant in Burgundy, central France, will have two digesters with a capacity of 2,000m³ each.

The two other plants will have an electrical output of 190kW and 255kW, respectively. The smaller Weltec biogas plant in Lorraine comprises a 1,500m³ stainless-steel digester and will be loaded with cattle manure from the operator's farm as well as whole plant silage and food leftovers.

Additionally, the 255kW plant will utilise agro-industrial waste.

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