Agraferm Technologies AG builds Anaerobic Digester for the first commercial scale bio methane plant to feed into the British national gas grid
On-time completion and opening of bio methane plant in Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset
The plant, with a total output of 5 MW, was finished and handed over on time to the client J V Energen LLP, a joint venture between local farmers and the Duchy of Cornwall. "The close co-operation with the gas distributor Scotia Gas Networks, who were involved in the project from the beginning, combined with the problem-free construction of the plant and the excellent collaboration with J V Energen LLP ultimately led to the successful and timely completion of the project", said Dr. Christian Hofmann, chairman of Agraferm Technologies AG.
The bio methane plant is very well integrated into the surrounding countryside in southwest England and fulfils the high ecological standards of this region on Duchy of Cornwall land. Rainbarrow Farm sits on Duchy of Cornwall land just outside Poundbury, the urban extension to the Dorset county town of Dorchester which is built to The Prince of Wales's architectural principles. Poundbury is known internationally as a pioneering example of urban development and is an example of a sustainable community designed to put the needs of people before cars. Poundbury was created by His Royal Highness in 1994 and mixes high-density social and private housing with work and leisure facilities.
The bio methane plant is not only equipped with the latest technology, it is also constructed so that a wide range of feedstock can be used. Moreover, Agraferm's technology enables the use of feedstock with a very high viscosity. The plant can digest maize, grass silage, potato waste and manure at a maximum capacity of around 41,000 tonnes per year. Even the residue substrate is put to good use. Every year about 8,000 tonnes of solid and 22,000 tonnes of liquid digestate containing valuable nutrients for the chalky soil of the region will be used as fertiliser for the fields.
The plant, which has only a 3,300 m3 fermenter and a 5,030 m3 secondary fermenter will feed around 400 standard m3 of bio methane into the national gas grid each hour. A feature of the plant is the optimum relationship between the site size and the output. This is made possible by the high load capacity of the fermenters and the increased fermentation performance of the feedstock. Agraferm plants are also well known for their low electricity consumption and low maintenance costs.
Great Britain is one of the key target markets of the future for Agraferm. The Poundbury project is the fourth British plant built by Agraferm, which has its headquarters in the Bavarian town of Pfaffenhofen. Two more plants are currently under construction in Britain. "We are working intensively on expansion abroad, with Great Britain taking the lead in our international efforts. Agraferm with its refined and versatile technology is very well set up for this market", concluded Hofmann.
Agraferm Technologies AG with its headquarters in Pfaffenhofen, Germany, plans and constructs biogas plants in international markets. It is one of the few complete service providers for agricultural and industrial AD plants. Its services span the planning and construction as well as technical and biological services for AD plants. In addition to the German market the company also operates in countries such as Great Britain, Italy and Slovakia. Agraferm Technologies AG is the chief company in the Agraferm Group. With its affiliated companies it covers the full spectrum of services for the biogas industry.
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