In 2015, the WELTEC Group had acquired two biomethane refineries. Now the company has taken the next step on its growth path: In January 2016, Nordmethan GmbH, a subsidiary of the plant manufacturer WELTEC BIOPOWER, purchased an existing biogas plant in Falkenhagen, Brandenburg, Germany.
Following the fundamental technical and administrative restructuring and modernisation, the currently decommissioned Falkenhagen biogas plant is expected to resume operations towards the end of 2016. Upon go-live, the plant with its five digesters, five post-digesters, five digestate storage units and six combined heat and power (CHP) plant will generate 3.3 MW of electricity. The power will be fed into the public power grid, and the exhaust heat from the CHP plant is to be used for the digestate drying process.
The plant had been built in 2007 and commissioned in 2008. Until 2015, the plant was operated by various owners. By means of renovation investments totalling about €2 million, the WELTEC Group wants to re-enable profitable operation. Among other things, the restructuring measures comprise the replacement of all solid matter input systems and a general overhaul of the six CHP plants. All tank roofs are to be replaced, and the mixer technology is to be serviced and replaced if necessary. Moreover, the pumps will be replaced, the control technology will be modernised, and the three dryers will be repaired.
Jens Albartus, Director of WELTEC BIOPOWER and of Nordmethan, is confident that these measures will enable economically successful operation of the biogas plant in Falkenhagen. Former employees have been taken over within the scope of the acquisition, thereby securing jobs. "The biogas plant features a concept that we can build on", says Albartus. One of the reasons for the purchase was that due to Nordmethan's nearby biomethane plant, the company has long-standing contacts with local farmers. Thus, it was easy to find regional partners to supply substrates – primarily maize silage and pig manure – for the Falkenhagen site.
If things develop as expected, the WELTEC Group might decide to expand its biomethane refinery and biogas plant operations. "Our strength lies in the scope of our group: The array of WELTEC BIOPOWER and Nordmethan is capable of covering the entire biogas value chain from the planning stage to permanent operation", explains Albartus.