Important milestone for EnviTec Biogas in sight

Conversion of BioEnergie Park Güstrow well underway

14 November 2022 At 37.66 metres in length, 4.80 meters in diameter and weighing 130 tonnes, the arrival of the LNG tank at BioEnergie Park Güstrow scheduled for mid-December this year will mark another important – and above all, imposing – milestone in the conversion project for Germany’s biggest biogas plant with integrated bio-LNG unit to date.

“So far, we have already modernised and converted four of the five modules to meet all the latest standards,” explains Frank Hinken, Managing Director of EnviTec Bioenergie Güstrow GmbH. This conversion work includes new agitators, advanced pumping systems and double-membrane roofs. The last feature makes gas storage as capacious as possible while simultaneously variable. Frank Hinken: “This means biogas can be stored without time limitations and upgraded on a flexible timeplan.”

Running in parallel to this conversion work is another project to convert four large concentrate tanks, each with a 15,000 cubic metre capacity, into digestate tanks. Three new tanks will also be built. “That will then complete tank construction for now,” Hinken reports. At each construction stage, between 20 and 60 employees from EnviTec Biogas and other companies are hard at work on the 31 ha site in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Currently, two of the five high-pressure water scrubbing lines, which were used to upgrade 1,000 Nm3 of biomethane per line, are still in operation. “The other lines have been dismantled, so as to create space for the planned CO2 liquefaction unit,” Hinken explains. The two future EnviThan gas upgrading units, which will replace the old high-pressure water scrubbing unit, are now waiting in their containers, already installed and tested, to be shipped to Güstrow. Foundations have already been poured for three of the four containers used by the innovative membrane upgrading technology, with preparations for the fourth now in progress.

These conversions have been supplemented by work on a retention structure in the form of a compressed earth wall. This safety barrier to block substrate leaks is needed to obtain a permit according to section 16 of the Federal Immission Control Act. “All of the approval procedures have been completed without any issues,” comments Birgit Bagert, Managing Director of von Lehmden Planning Consultants. “From the application submission in 2021 onwards, everyone has worked as a team and both the preparatory work completed by EnviTec and communications with the authorities have been a model of transparency and efficiency.”

With this plant, EnviTec Biogas is setting a milestone for the transport sector. From its planned pilot operation in the second quarter of 2023, the Güstrow plant will aim to supply significant quantities of purified bio-LNG to help make heavy goods traffic greener.

Numerous agreements have already been signed with customers looking to offer this LNG as an alternative fuel at their filling stations.

Sidebar – BioEnergie Güstrow GmbH

  • Commissioning of Germany’s largest biogas plant, built by EnviTec Biogas, in 2009
  • Purchase and transfer to EnviTec Own Investment in 2021
  • From mid-2023 onwards, EnviTec aims to facilitate the annual production of around 9,000 tonnes of bio-LNG (liquefied natural gas)
  • To date, the 500 GWh biogas upgrading unit fed into the 25 bar natural gas grid. The previous owners also ran the plant on around 400,000 t of substrate, which was predominantly sweet corn, but also included whole-plant silage, cereals and grass silage.
  • In the new business operating model, input will now be reduced to 150,000 t per annum, agricultural residues will be primarily utilised and additional CHP units will be ‘docked on’ to supply 3.1 MWel of on-site power to the facility. Digestate storage capacities have also been adjusted to match.
  • Conversion work on the Güstrow site required investment in a CO2 liquefaction plant and an LNG system for biomethane liquefaction, as well as extensive capital spending on replacements such as new roofs and agitators amounting to more than EUR 50 million.

About EnviTec Biogas AG

EnviTec Biogas AG covers the entire value chain for the production of biogas, including the planning and turnkey construction of biogas plants and biogas upgrading plants as well as their commissioning. The company takes charge of biological and technical services on demand, and also offers operational management services. EnviTec operates 89 of its own plants, making it one of the largest biogas producers in Germany. EnviTec’s business interests also include the direct marketing of upgraded biomethane as well as the marketing of electricity and balancing energy. The company is represented in 16 countries worldwide by its own companies, sales offices, strategic partners and joint ventures. In 2021, the EnviTec Group generated revenue of EUR 262.4 million and EBT of EUR 23.3 million. The Group currently employs 531 people worldwide. EnviTec Biogas AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.