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Weltec Biopower building 7 MW biogas heat plant in South Korea

Germany-headed biogas technology provider Weltec Biopower GmbH (Weltec has announced that it has begun construction of a 7 MWth biogas heat plant in the province of Gyeonggi-do, some 60 km north of Seoul, South Korea. The plant will use food waste as feedstock and use the biogas for heat production in an integrated gas boiler.

Weltec Biopower GmbH has begun construction of a 7 MWth biogas heat plant in the province of Gyeonggi-do, some 60 km north of Seoul, South Korea. representing Weltec’s third biogas project in the country, the plant will use food waste as feedstock and use the biogas for heat production in an integrated gas boiler (photo courtesy Weltec Biopower).

Since President Moon Jae-in assumed office, the South Korean government has been making concerted efforts to achieve autonomy in the power and heat sector and to significantly increase the share of renewable energies.

Recently a Green New Deal was announced to deliver net-zero carbon emission by 2050 making the country the first in South East Asia to set a timeframe. The first efforts were already made in 2017 with the “Renewable Energies 2030 Implementation Plan“, in which biogas was given a prominent role.

However, according to Weltec, the biogas market has thus far not yet begun to develop as anticipated by South Korean politicians and legislators on account of “immature technologies” of some providers, which have only delivered an inefficient process for the digestion of biomass to biogas.

Third biogas project in South Korea

This is now set to change with Weltec’s award-winning biogas plants and waste processing technologies. With construction underway, the 7 MW biogas plant in Gyeonggi-do is to go live in autumn 2021 and digest up to 93 000 tonnes of food waste annually.

Weltec has already planned and built two organic waste biogas plants in South Korea commissioned in 2012 and 2016 respectively. Both plants were custom-tailored to the framework conditions and, Weltec says, “boast a high level of plant availability and profitability.”

The experience the company has gained in the waste industry is especially valuable for the new project in Gyeonggi-do. The two customized bioreactors will be filled with more than 250 tonnes of food waste per day.

For this purpose, we customized the two duplex steel digesters of the newest generation with a capacity of 6 200 and 2 700 m3, respectively, to the conditions on-site. Due to the space limitations on-site and local requirements, the tanks are very slim and have a height of 8.80 m, said Vladimir Bogatov, Weltec sales manager for Asia.

Other components are also custom-tailored. For instance, the raw materials will arrive in processed form and will be fed into the plant as a ready-to-use liquid mix. The biogas is used in gas boilers for renewable heat production.

The residual digestate is processed in a clarification stage and the solid matters generated in this process are used for composting.

To ensure efficient pre-treatment, we will equip the upstream storage units with special mixing and pump technology. Our custom-developed SPS-based LoMOS control system will make sure that the substrates are automatically pumped from the pre-storage unit into the digesters, thereby ensuring uninterrupted heat supply, said Vladimir Bogatov.

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