Weltec Biopower will shortly start building an anaerobic digestion plant for Colombia’s largest egg producer Incubadora Santander, which produces about 3.5 million eggs a day. The 800-kW biogas plant is set to go live in early 2017. In terms of the feedstock input, the egg producer 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, the agricultural industry has discovered its huge biomass potential. 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 800-kW 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 fertilizer value, enabling it to be returned into the plant’s agricultural substance cycle for efficient use as liquid manure on its own fields.
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 for the construction of the pre-storage tanks and digesters.
Compact delivery and quick assembly are additional advantages of this material. Plant modules such as the ready-for-operation CHP plant, the preinstalled pump and control technology and the stainless-steel panels for the tanks will be transported to the plant location in maritime containers from Germany that will pass the Panama Canal. The 80-km waterway cuts the distance from the East Coast to the Pacific Coast by several thousand kilometers. With the Weltec biogas plant that is to supply power and process heat from early 2017, Incubadora Santander will be well prepared for its expansion plans.
With the help of such mature technology, the plans of the Colombian government are likely to succeed, increasing the share of renewable energies in the power network to 6.5 percent by 2020. Colombia’s agricultural industry is producing large quantities of side products and waste that can be used for energy generation purposes. The country’s energy potential for biomass is estimated at 16 GWh a year.