Weltec to develop AD plant for Colombian egg producer

German bioenergy developer Weltec Biopower will shortly start building an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant for Colombia‘s largest egg producer.

The 800kW biogas plant is to go live in early 2017. In terms of the feedstock input, the operator Incubadora Santander, which produces about 3.5 million eggs a day, plans to make use of the co-digestion of dry chicken manure from the laying hens and process water from the production.

Since the Colombian government started supporting the generation of renewable energies, especially the agricultural industry has discovered its huge biomass potential, Weltec said in a statement.

So far, only little of this potential has been converted into green energy. In view of these framework conditions, the egg producer Incubadora Santander has decided to generate energy from biomass. The enterprise – which operates several poultry farms close to the western Colombian province of Cauca – markets its eggs under the “Kikes“ brand in 14 cities in Colombia.

The production yields a great amount of dry chicken manure and process water, with which the 800kW biogas plant from the German plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower can be operated without purchasing any additional substrate. The feedstock will be pre-treated in a sedimentation tank.

There, the manure will be separated from sand and lime and will be pumped into the 4,903-m3 digester by way of an upstream storage unit with a capacity of 1,076 m3. Through the co-digestion, the digestate will reach a high fertiliser value, enabling it to be returned into the plant‘s agricultural substance cycle for efficient use as liquid manure on its own fields.

In a statement, Weltec said: “The high quality requirements of South America‘s agricultural and food industry were a key reason why the operator Juan Felipe Montoya Muñoz opted for Weltec technology ‘made in Germany’. For the sake of hygiene and other reasons, the company prefers stainless steel, a high-quality material, for the construction of the pre-storage tanks and digesters.”

The Colombian government aims to increase the share of renewable energies in its power network to
6.5% by 2020. Colombia‘s agricultural industry is producing large quantities of side products and waste that can be used for energy generation purposes, Weltec said. The country‘s energy potential for biomass is estimated at 16 GWh a year.

Weltec added: “So far, these have been used almost exclusively for the production of biodiesel and ethanol, but this will doubtlessly change in the near future!”

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