21 July 2009
Global perspectives: Biogas boost in Europe
By Cris Whetton
Biogas will get a boost in Hungary as the Dutch company, Kurstjens BV, is building a $12 million (€8.43 million) plant in Varda.
Kurstjens is also planning to build a greenhouse on a six-hectare site next to the finished plant. The unit will use organic waste to generate electricity, which will power the facility and the greenhouse. They will sell any extra energy generated to electricity distributors. The plant will employ 50 people. Kurstjens is conducting the operation though its Hungarian unit BIO-E. The company plans to open the power plant in spring 2010.
Meanwhile, in Latvia, businessman Andris Grigis started a $85.3 million (€60 million), 12 MW biogas project. Grigis’ biogas complex will go up in Vainode County (Southwest Latvia), and construction of the plant will get under way as soon as they get the construction permit. As is common in Europe, the equipment for the plant will come from Germany. There will be 12 biogas plants, each with one megawatt output, and each of them run by a separate company. Grigis said this will make attracting investments easier. The complex will produce biogas by processing pig manure, Grigis is the owner of the largest pig farm in Latvia, as well as corn and alfalfa.
Finland’s Neste Oil held the official groundbreaking ceremony for a $940 million renewable diesel plant in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This facility, with a production capacity of 240 million gallons per year, will produce the company’s proprietary NExBTL fuel. Company officials said they plan on this being the largest renewable fuels plant in Europe. “We expect mechanical completion to take place sometime in early 2011,” said Hanna Maula, director of corporate communications for Neste. “It will take additional time after this to ramp up production to full capacity.” It is unclear where Neste will procure feedstock for the plant, which is in short supply in Europe.
Cris Whetton is InTech’s European correspondent.