Schmack Biogas AG, with E.ON Ruhrgas and E.ON Bayern, plans to build Europe’s largest biogas plant. The plant will have a total capacity of 10 MWgas, which is equivalent to an electrical output of 4 MWel.
The new plant is designed for the fermentation of some 61,500 tonnes of feedstock per year, from which approximately 16 million cubic meters (565 million cubic feet) of biogas can be produced based on the current state of the art.
The plant will feed gas into the natural gas distribution system and be operated with renewable resources. Construction of the plant on the premises of Schmack Biogas will start in mid-2007, with the start of biogas production scheduled for the end of December 2007.
Currently, most newly built biogas plants in Germany have a capacity of 150 kW to 500 kW.
Schmack Energie Holding GmbH will be responsible for planning, construction and operation of the plant, while E.ON Bayern Wärme GmbH will market the heat and E.ON Bioerdgas GmbH will market and feed in the biogas. Each of the three partners will contribute one third to the total investment volume of approximately €15.8 million (US$22 million).
Farmers from Schwandorf and its environs will provide the feedstock. Compared to other biogas plants of a similar size, the area needed for cultivation will be reduced by one third thanks to a new kind of crop rotation.
Just like our two partners, we assume that the future of the biogas market will belong to these cost-efficient large-scale plants.—Ulrich Schmack, founder
Schmack offers two types of fermenters. The EUCO TS is a plug-flow fermenter featuring a long, horizontal fermentation container made from concrete that is suitable for use with biomass with a maximal proportion of dry matter. It can even be operated using a dry fermentation process.
The COCCUS TS is a traditional pit storage fermenter, suitable for feedstocks with a low dry-matter content.