Lohne/Saerbeck, 14 December 2017 – The market presence of biogas plant builder EnviTec Biogas is progressing by leaps and bounds in China. EnviTec is enjoying particular success with its innovative EnviThan gas upgrading technology in the Far East. With the completion of the first biogas plant plus gas upgrading in the province of Hebei in northern China, the German biogas all-rounder has finished its third successful plant construction project in the People’s Republic – and a fourth project is now underway.
“For our customer Dingzhou Sifang Leo Livestock Science and Technology Co. Ltd., the newly commissioned plant in Dingzhou, Hebei province is a lighthouse project for the entire region,” says Jörg Fischer, CFO of EnviTec Biogas AG, which is based in Lohne/Saerbeck, Germany. Operated using cattle slurry and corn stover/silage, the plant was constructed and commissioned by EnviTec in just six months.
“Construction was naturally preceded by a detailed planning phase,” explains project manager Andreas Bosse, who was responsible for the completion of the plant with an overall output of around 13.500.000 Nm³ of raw gas per year. “All of the biogas plant and EnviThan gas upgrading components were manufactured at our Saerbeck site and packed into containers for shipping by sea,” Bosse continues. The six digesters needed by the plant were poured by a local concrete works. “Our customer’s detailed planning work meant that implementation was easy to manage – including the intercultural aspects,” Bosse adds. The team at Dingzhou Sifang Leo Livestock Science and Technology Co. Ltd. translated all of the EnviTec planning documents into Chinese within its own design unit.
“Importantly, this biogas plant was intended from the start as a flagship project,” says Bosse. The adjoining Visitor Centre, including lab and central control room, has been designed and built to ensure that visitors can view the mixing line and technical systems via a glass-walled corridor and tunnel. The biomethane produced is filled as compressed natural gas (CNG) into a CNG trailer for subsequent distribution as a fuel.
In the port city of Yantai in eastern China, another EnviThan plant completed by EnviTec earlier this year is already successfully supplying a local filling station. “Our customer there, Shandong Minhe Biological Sci-tech Co. Ltd, supplies the raw gas from the existing biogas plant,” explains Stefan Laumann, Head of Gas Upgrading at EnviTec’s plant construction division. The CNG plant installed onsite compresses the biomethane from around 13.5 bar to 200 bar in a CNG tube trailer. “In Yantai, CNG is mostly used by cars,” Laumann continues.
In China, CNG is very much a growth market. “Together with our sales partner, we now have four employees in China at the moment, busy handling the large number of enquiries,” CFO Fischer reports, noting that China is increasingly turning to renewables as its megacities start to choke on the smoke from its power stations. “The situation’s similar in rural areas, as local farmers simply burn what’s left after the harvest,” Fischer explains. EnviTec is now looking to establish a Chinese joint venture company, whose future activities will largely involve handling local after-sales service.
Drive Biogas: Award-winning business model
EnviTec’s ‘Drive Biogas’ business model was recently the recipient of a prestigious award from the German Energy Agency (dena). The biogas all-rounder won the accolade as a result of its innovative and integrative entrepreneurial approach to using biogas as a fuel in the transport sector. Jörg Fischer, EnviTec Group CFO: “Our business model shows how important it is for plant engineering firms to advance into consumer markets and act in the interests of customers and environmental protection.”
The new business model is intended to promote the use of biogas as a fuel in the transport sector as bio-CNG (compressed natural gas from biomethane). This gives EnviTec as a plant engineering firm as well as operators of biogas and gas upgrading plants the option of further refining the biomethane they produce and utilising this as a fuel. To promote this integrated approach, EnviTec signed a cooperative agreement at the start of this year with BAUER Kompressoren, an established supplier of components for CNG plants. EnviTec Anlagenbau integrates these components into the project-specific design tailored to the respective requirements.
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 full plant and operational management. In addition, EnviTec also operates its own biogas plants. In 2011, EnviTec Biogas expanded its business operations into the direct marketing of upgraded biomethane as well as the marketing of green electricity and balancing energy. With a presence in 14 countries worldwide, EnviTec Biogas AG is represented by its own companies, sales offices, strategic partners and joint ventures. In 2016, EnviTec generated revenue of €162.9 million and EBIT of €4.2 million. The EnviTec Group currently has around 440 employees. EnviTec Biogas has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since July 2007.