Weltec builds biogas plant for vegetable producer
Weltec Biopower has started building a 500kW anaerobic digestion plant in Loughgall, Northern Ireland for vegetable producer Gilfresh.
'This is our third plant in Northern Ireland and the eleventh in the UK,' says Kevin Monson, sales manager of Weltec Biopower UK.
Gilfresh grows a number of vegetables, including salad crops, root vegetables, cabbages and pak choi. The company used to send its waste – which accumulates in the sorting, washing and packaging processes – to farmers for use as cattle feed. From July 2015, however, the waste and vegetable washing water will be used as feedstock in the new AD plant.
To maintain an optimum stock level, an underground pre-storage tank is being built to store the feedstock before it is sent to one of the two 2,625m³ stainless steel digesters. A new 6,000m³ tank will offer gas tight digestate storage. In addition to vegetable waste, cattle manure, chicken litter as well as whole crop, grass and maize silage will be used.
Weltec's MultiMix system provides continuous utilisation and homogenisation of the substrates and stable plant operation. In combination with an 80m³ solid matter dosing feeder, the system ensures optimum shredding and intensive mixing of the vegetable waste and long-fibre silage.
'The biogas plant will enable us to pursue our growth course on the one hand and our ecological goals on the other hand,' explains Thomas Gilpin, founder of Gilfresh. 'Weltec has designed the plant precisely for our specific production conditions.'
Around 40% of the power generated by the 500kW CHP plant can be utilised in Gilfresh's own production process. In the near future, the efficiency will increase even more due to the upcoming expansion of the cold storage. The excess power is fed into the public grid, and the process heat is made use of for heating the company buildings and for the production processes.
SOURCE: Weltec Biopower