Xergi to deliver large biogas plant to Arla Foods

Xergi, which is 50%-owned by Schouw & Co., has won a contract to deliver its largest biogas plant to date. The DKK 235 million plant will have an annual capacity of 16.5 million m3 of methane and will supply green energy to Arla Foods’ milk powder facility at the Videbæk Dairy in western Jutland.

Xergi, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of turnkey biogas systems, has been awarded a contract to build one of Denmark's largest biogas plants. The plant is scheduled for commissioning only 18 months from now and, once completed, it will have the capacity to treat no less than 600,000 tonnes of biomass mainly of agricultural origin.

Energy company Nature Energy will be the principal shareholder of the new DKK 235 million biogas plant, to be named Nature Energy Videbæk, and Arla Foods, Xergi and Leverandørforeningen Videbæk Biogas will be minority shareholders. Xergi's contract for the project is for DKK 200 million and a 10% ownership interest:

“Project development has been under way for five to six years, and we have been part of the design process from the beginning. We are very pleased that construction of our largest plant to date is now about to begin,” said Jørgen Ballermann, CEO of Xergi.

Green power and heating for the production of milk powder
The plant will produce biogas for the generation of green power and heating for Arla Foods’ large production of milk powder at Videbæk. The biogas plant will consist of five 9,500 m3 biogas reactors with a capacity to generate a combined 16.5 million m3 of methane, which is the combustible component of biogas:

“Nature Energy Videbæk is the largest plant we’ve built in our 30-year history. The plant will use our proprietary FLEXFEED® technology. Its fundamental principles prove their worth on a daily basis at major biogas plants in the United Kingdom, France, the United States and Denmark,” Jørgen Ballermann explains: “In addition to being the largest plant we’ve constructed to date, it will also be one of the first to be established in connection with industrial production. Currently, very few biogas plants in Denmark deliver biogas directly to the industrial sector, and certainly not in this volume. We hope the project will inspire other industrial players to explore opportunities for producing and using biogas.

Inexhaustible resource
At Schouw & Co., which has held a 50 per cent stake in Xergi for many years, they are excited about the order and the prospects it provides:

“We see a global megatrend of waste increasingly being considered a resource on an equal footing with virgin feedstock. Biomass from the industrial and agricultural sectors and private households is an almost inexhaustible resource, and we are confident that we will see significant growth in the number of biogas plants being constructed over the next few years,” says President Jens Bjerg Sørensen, and continues: “We consider this specific order to be a strong stamp of approval of Xergi’s technology and expertise, and this will undoubtedly make Arla Foods a role model for other Danish and European industrial businesses.”

Industrial symbiosis
According to Jørgen Ballermann and Jens Bjerg Sørensen, Nature Energy Videbæk is a textbook example of how industrial symbiosis can be achieved, since part of the biomass will derive from Arla Foods’ own production. Each year, 40,000 tonnes of the residual product Perlac 14 will be degassed at the biogas plant. Other industries will also supply small volumes of waste product. The remaining part of a total of 600,000 tonnes of biomass will primarily derive from agriculture in the form of liquid manure and deep litter. Residual biomass will be used as fertilizer on the fields near the plant:

“The treatment of liquid manure and deep litter at the biogas plant will make nutrients significantly easier to absorb for plants. As a result, farmers will be able to enhance the fertilizing value of their manure, and fresh nutrients will be recirculated from industry to agriculture. That way, the agricultural sector will have access to greener or more environmentally-friendly fertilizers, while Arla will receive a green supply of energy,” Jørgen Ballermann concludes.

Facts about Nature Energy Videbæk

  • The plant will be constructed near the village of Trøstrup, south of Videbæk in western Jutland
  • Total construction cost: DKK 235 million
  • Principal shareholder: Nature Energy
  • Other shareholders: Arla, Leverandørforeningen Videbæk Biogas and Xergi
  • Gas production: 16.5 million m3 of methane
  • Biogas is made up of about two-thirds of methane and one-third of CO2. Gas production is measured by volume of methane, which is the combustible component of biogas
  • Biomass: 600,000 tonnes of biomass will be treated annually
  • Reactor capacity: Three primary biogas reactors with a capacity of 9,500 m3 each and two secondary reactors with a capacity of 9,500 m3 each
  • Pre-treatment: The plant will use Xergi’s proprietary FLEXFEED® technology

 For further information please see www.xergi.com