In the summer of 2020, the German plant manufacturer Weltec Biopower will start building a biogas plant in Veria, northern Greece.
The main investor and operator of the project is one of the largest abattoirs for cattle and pigs in Greece. The 500 kW plant – which Weltec has planned in collaboration with its Greek partner Tetoros Machinery in Megara – is set to go live as early as mid-November 2020.
According to the Greek research institute CRES, the waste from animal husbandry and slaughtering throughout Greece amounts to 17.5 million t/year. This corresponds to a potential biogas capacity of approximately 370 MW. The capacity currently installed in Greece is only about 83 MW.
The new Weltec plant in Veria will make use of these resources for the generation of energy. The anaerobic digestion process will mainly use cattle manure and meat processing leftovers. Apart from these substrates, the 4,903-m3 stainless-steel digester will also be fed with production wastewater and fats. The input substances will come from the operator’s own abattoir and farms, as well as from farmers in the vicinity.
The highly efficient digestion will start with a customised input process. For this purpose, the substrates will first be loaded into a 60-m3 moving floor feeder. The feeder will transport solid substrates, such as orange peels, to the MULTIMix unit, where they will shredded and then pumped to the digester. Liquid substrates will be pumped directly into the digester from two storage units. “Following the digestion process, the entire digestate will be treated in a downstream hygienisation unit,” explains Alain Priser, International Sales Manager at Weltec.
Meanwhile, Greek investors are looking for such custom-tailored plants in order to make profitable and climate-neutral use of the wide variety of raw materials. This is the only way to reach renewable energy targets defined in the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021 to 2030 (NECP) adopted by Greece. An intermediate step will be to shut down 14 coal-fired power plants in the next five years. Besides natural gas, renewable energies are to play a key role in closing the resulting power supply gap.
In the coming decade, Greece will invest some €9 billion in such plants. During this period, the installed biogas and biomass utilisation capacity is expected to triple.