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First EnviThan biogas upgrading plants in Estonia brought online

Just six months separated order placement and the first feed-in into the Estonian gas network for the two latest gas upgrading plants from the German biogas plant operator and technology provider EnviTec Biogas AG.
“The two projects in Tartu and Vinni are our first EnviThan plants in Estonia, and represent a milestone for our sales strategy in Eastern Europe,” said Lars von Lehmden, Managing Director of EnviTec Anlagenbau GmbH & Co. KG. 

Just six months separated order placement and the first feed-in into the Estonian gas network for the two latest gas upgrading plants from the German biogas plant operator and technology provider EnviTec Biogas (photo courtesy EnviTec).

Both biogas upgrading plants are operated by a joint venture of local energy companies. The Republic of Estonia is the smallest Baltic state, with just 1.3 million inhabitants—roughly the same population as Lower Saxony in Germany.

Estonia joined the European Union (EU) in 2004 and also has the lowest national debt of any EU member state: this gives it a positive entrepreneurial climate that also benefits those in the renewable energy sector.

By offering environmentally friendly biomethane for the transport sector, we are looking to play a leading role in the Baltic region, said Kalev Reiljan from Elenger, one of the stakeholders.

The company’s network makes it the market leader in the CNG filling station segment in Estonia. Consumers can fuel their vehicles with both natural gas and biomethane at these stations. Elenger also operates in Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Expansion of CNG powered bus fleet decisive

The expansion of environmentally friendly public transport in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn was the decisive factor for the customer’s decision to invest in gas upgrading provided by EnviThan.

Local transport company Tallinna Linnatranspordi purchased a fleet of 100 CNG buses valued at EUR 27 million back in December 2019, von Lehmden reports, who also praises Estonian transport policy as being “miles ahead of policy here in Germany”.

The buses purchased from Solaris Bus & Coach are each equipped with a gas storage cylinder capable of holding 315 litres of CNG.

Before biogas can be fed into an existing natural gas network, the gas must first be purified and conditioned. This step will be handled by the two Estonian plants using the well-established EnviThan biogas upgrading technology.

EnviTec Biogas installs membrane modules from Evonik Industries in its gas upgrading plants for this environmentally friendly and exceptionally cost-effective process. Each of the plants in Tartu and Vinni feeds the biomethane into the existing natural gas grid: the fuelling of public transport vehicles with biomethane is planned from this summer.

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