A farmers owned biogas plant using manure and waste as feedstock produces gas for buses and the residue is used as natural fertiliser; an industrial symbiosis.
Alvesta Biogas owns and operates the Biogas production facility. It is owned by 11 farmers, Växjö diocese and Entreprenörinvest Sverige AB (an investment company) that also takes care of the administration.
The 11 farms are in a radius of 15 km from the biogas facility. They mainly hold cattle for meat production, but also milking cows, pigs and lamb. The farmers deliver manure and get the same amount excellent fertiliser in return after digestion. This fertiliser has better quality (more available N) and smells less then manure.
Beside manure, waste from slaughterhouse is used as feedstock. This has led to some problems with odour that are solved with a new filter.
The gas is upgraded to natural gas quality in a scrubber and sold on site to private users and to public transport in the nearby city of Växjö. Decisions made on long term sight were very important. The company has a ten year contract with the buyer of the gas, E.ON, and as long with the farmers. A contract with Region Kronoberg on biogas for the public transport buses was very important.
The facility costed about 6 M€. Alvesta Biogas received investment support of 1,1 M€ from the County Administrative Board in Kronoberg. Contract with public transport company was important. The municipality of Alvesta bought the land initially and sold it to Alvesta Biogas 3,5 M SEK (350 000 E).
Evidence of success
The plant has been profitable from the first day.
Fossil fuel equivalent to 2650 ton CO2 are replaced.
GHG from manure are reduced equivalent to 1880 ton CO2.
After the digestion the manure are of a better quality leading to a reduced need for nitrogen fertilizer. This gives an additional effect corresponding 83 ton CO2. Total reduction sums up to: 4613 ton CO2 -equivalents.
The residues becomes a natural fertiliser of very good quality.
Key challenge before making an investment decision was to secure sale of the biogas. Sweden does not have a national grid for gas and local consumers had to be in place. Also important for profitability is to have a good mixture of manure and other substrates to have an efficient digestion.
Potential for learning or transfer
All regions with animal farms and a public transport system can use the concept.
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