Biomethane for France
French agriculture has a wealth of raw and waste materials that are suitable for biogas plants. However, only half of the available materials are presently used for energy production. Thus, ambitious development plans have been drawn up: By 2020, the biomass share in the field of renewable energies in France is to rise to about 50 percent.
No wonder that that the number of RFPs for plant projects for the generation of energy from biomass is on the rise. This affects the order pipeline of established biogas plant manufacturers like the German WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH. Meanwhile, the project list includes about 30 French biogas plants. Some of these projects are rolled out in cooperation with Méthalac from Lyon, France.
This expertise was one of the reasons why WELTEC BIOPOWER and Méthalac received an order for a biogas project with gas processing in summer 2014. The plant in the north of the Franche-Comté region on the Swiss border will be completed in spring 2015, after which it is expected to supply biomethane to the French natural gas grid at a rate of 70 standard m3/h.
Thus, the plant stands witness to the increasing importance of the processing of biogas to biomethane. Though France only has five plants with gas feed-in, the population is growing, especially in view of the ample supply of biomaterials. This is also the case with the plant in Franche-Comté. The biomethane is processed from 6,000 t of agricultural waste, such as cattle manure, pig manure, intertillage and starch. These are digested in a stainless steel fermenter with a capacity of about 1,500 m3.
“To me, the tax advantage is a major argument in favour of a WELTEC plant“, says David Peterschmitt, the operator of the plant. He adds: “Bolted stainless steel containers are not included in the calculation of the cultivated area. In this way, the assessment base for the CFE land tax is reduced. This is a significant advantage over concrete containers.“
Based on the personal impression that he gained about the durability of established WELTEC plants during a visit to Germany, the builder draws attention to another positive aspect:“The tax advantage would evaporate if the maintenance costs were high. Accordingly, the condition of the two inspected biogas plants built in 2003 and 2010 convinced me of the longevity of stainless steel as a material and confirmed by decision to work with WELTEC.“
Together with Biogaz Services from Metz-Tessy, Méthalac will be responsible, not only for the installation and commissioning, but also for the maintenance of the WELTEC biogas plants. The team boasts a wealth of experience, especially in connection with the employed WELTEC material, and will ensure perpetually stable, economic operation. Once word gets around about the pros of biogas and biomethane plants, the French will succeed in making consistent use of their wealth of raw materials.
In 2014, biogas pioneer WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH celebrated its 13th anniversary. To date, the company has planned and established more than 300 plants. Based on the modern approach of experienced engineers and the expertise of its 80 employees, the company from Vechta, Lower Saxony, offers complete biogas plants from one source and has developed into one of the world‘s leading providers of biogas plants.
In view of the corroding impact of the hydrogen sulphide and ammonia compounds contained in biogas on unprotected parts, WELTEC builds the fermenters from stainless steel, thereby ensuring a long useful life of the plant. Additionally, the manufacturing depth guarantees a consistently high standard regardless of the location and ensures an export rate that is far above the industry average.
The plants have a modular structure. WELTEC BIOPOWER uses only tried-and-tested system components and develops most of the technologies along the entire value chain internally: fermenter technology, mixing technology, control technology, hygienisation systems and digestate processing solutions have been developed in the company.
With its comprehensive services, WELTEC makes sure that its biogas plants are technically and economically stable. The CHP service guarantees stable output, the biological supervision continually monitors relevant parameters, and systematic repowering makes sure that the biogas plant is always up to date. Operators can choose from a range of different service packages.
One of the main strengths of the medium-sized enterprise is its ability to deliver individual and flexible solutions – from compact plants to large computer-controlled plants in the megawatt range, waste recycling plants and biogas parks with gas processing technology.
Méthalac SARL, headquartered in Lyon, France, was founded in 2012 and has been the distribution partner of WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH in south-eastern France ever since.
Headed by Director Laurent Pauchard, the medium-sized enterprise coaches industrial, agricultural and municipal biogas projects from the evaluation to the implementation. This is always done in accordance with the particular regional, structural and industryspecific circumstances.
The expertise of the young team of engineers and technicians is especially valuable when it comes to question about raw material and smart heat utilisation concepts. The economic efficiency of the plant operation is always the main focus.
In the field of installation, commissioning and maintenance of biogas plants, Méthalac has cooperated with competent network partners like Biogaz Services from Metz-Tessy for many years.
WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH
Zum Langenberg 2
Phone: +49 4441/99978-220
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