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ARCHEA from Hess. Oldendorf „tropicalize“ Biogas Plant in Pomerode (Brazil)

Pomerode (Santa Catarina), 15th September 2014 – On the 8th of September 2014 Oliver Nacke, managing director of the company ARCHEA Biogastechnologie GmbH from Hessisch Oldendorf, handed over officially the newly built biogas plant to the local operator in the south Brazilian city of Pomerode (federal state of Santa Catarina). The slogan at the construction sign emphasized the words “For a clean and safe future” and was complemented with the words „tropicalizando tecnologia alemã“. The plant is a joint project between German and Brazilian partners and is the first of its kind, as it is the result of adapting the German environmental technology to the specific characteristics of a tropical country.
As Oliver Nacke, managing director of the ARCHEA Biogastechnologie GmbH from Hessisch Oldendorf, said: “Today is a special day for me. It is the reward to four years of development work and over 20 journeys to Brazil. This whole concept is one of a kind. The pig liquid manure, which up to now was just stored in open ponds, will be now treated through the biogas plant and turned into natural gas by means of a pressure water scrubbing unit and, at the same time, into solid fertilizer due to the effect of a drying plant and the post-rotting treatment. The fertilizer will be directly sold at the plant. The demand for this product is great as, on the contrary to Germany, there is no availability of topsoil in Brazil. After concluding with success the test run and after the plant has achieved full power, the output will be increased to 1 million m³ natural gas and will be sold as fuel on gas stations by the local gas supplier SCGAS from Florianopolis. The transport will be carried out with already existing tank trucks as there is no available natural gas grid. This natural gas will partially substitute the imported gas from Bolivia, whose price has strongly increased in the last years. Currently, Brazil covers an 80% of their natural gas consumption with gas coming from Bolivia. With the production of biogas/natural gas from their own waste, Brazil could be self-sustainable and therefore independent”.

The Biogaspark Deutschland GmbH from Bückeburg has taken part considerably in the plant. The Biogaspark Deutschland operates currently 24 biogas plants in Germany and will like to be involved in future projects in Brazil.

Hans Prayon, president of the supervisory board by the German-Brazilian Eco Conceitos S.A. group said: “This plant should be taken as an example beyond Santa Catarina. In fact, in Brazil there are already hundred from simple biogas plants built according to the tunnel construction type, but just a few of them operate in a stable way in the long run. With this new model of plant we want to show that it is possible to achieve this. Natural resources are the base for the production of gas, electricity and organic fertilizers. Essentially, the ultra-modern technology helps us find our way back to nature”. Archea do Brasil Ltda. as technology partner and BiogasPomerode Ltda. as operator of the plant belong to the Eco Conceitos S.A. group, domiciled in Pomerode. German collaboration partners Kooperationspartner are the MVV decon GmbH (Mannheim) and the Wirtschafts- und WissenschaftsZentrum Brasilien-Deutschland e.V. (WWZ – BD), domiciled in Berlin. The privately financed plant is part of a project which was sponsored by the Federal Environment Ministry and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG).

Economical Solutions to Environmental Problems

Hans-Dieter Beuthan, managing vice-president of the WWZ – BD e.V., sees the project in Pomerode as an industrial model plant. “Santa Catarina is Brazil’s biggest pig producer and pig liquid manure is one of the biggest problems of the country. In Pomerode we show that there is also an economical solution for this problem”. The WWZ – BD commissioned an analysis about the profitability of the project, attended the complete permissions process and supported the technological transfer. Hans-Dieter Beuthan: “With our work in Brazil we have determined that the country has already a modern environmental legislation. The biggest needs in the implementation of this legislation are located by the municipalities. Therefore it was no surprise for us that there was such a huge interest about our plant even before the official commissioning”.

Big Potential for Biogas in Brazil

Up to now, the use of biogas for the production of electricity occurs only in a few pilot projects – mostly in landfills – in Brazil. According to the Brazilian electrical regulatory authority, just a 0,06 percent of the produced electricity comes from biogas. The estimation of the German Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, domiciled in São Paulo, is that there is a great potential for biogas through the implementation of the law of 2010 in the treatment of wastes. For this reason, it is scheduled in the National Plan for Waste Management (PNRS), that by the end of 2014 all of the municipalities must close all landfills as well as treat, use or dispose the wastes in an adequate landfill. All of the materials that generate an energetically profitability should be appropriately used. However, up to now, not even the half of these municipalities have such a plant, which means that there is a huge potential in this market niche for new projects for the production of biogas. The biogas potential from wastewater and from organic waste in Brazil is estimated to be around 50 million  m³ methane per day or around 3.400 megawatt unexploited capacity.

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