German-based Weltec Biopower and Finland-based Doranova are constructing a biogas plant in Jeppo, Finland, that will supply power to the grid.
The plant will produce biomethane refined to natural gas quality, which is suitable for all consumption paths, including the growing network of Finnish natural gas stations.
The plant is being designed with modular components, including the fermenter, the pump, the agitator technology and the separation and sanitation technologies. The components are operated via a control created by Weltec.
In the initial phase, only wastewater, grass and straw will be used as fermentation substrates, along with manure from a nearby pig farm. In the future, fox and mink excrements from a nearby fur farm also will be processed.
In addition to natural gas, the facility will provide fertilizer for farms, while complying with the statutory nitrogen limits in the region.
In energy production, the Finns have to increasingly count on their own resources in order to decrease their dependency on imported oil. There is a need for this since the trade deficit in 2011 increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year, according to Weltec Biopower.
Aside from an expansion of nuclear power, Finland is counting on biomass and other renewables. The preferred form of biomass is based on the enormous supply of wood in the forest-rich country as well as the large deposits of peat and of refuse. This biomass richness ensured that in Finland in 2011 the power generation from wood biomass (22 percent) even exceeded that of nuclear power (17 percent). By comparison: only about 3 percent was generated by water power und 0.1 percent by wind power. Photovoltaics play next to no role in Finland.
According to the Association for Foreign Trade, more than 30 biogas plants are being planned in Finland.