A new biogas plant producing enough power each year for 6,500 homes has been opened in Belgium. The Biopower Tongeren, in Limburg province, has been completed by Enovos Luxembourg S.A. and partners Pholpa B.V.B.A. and NPG energy N.V.
Ingrid Lieten, the Minister of Economy & Innovation, Patrick Dewael, Tongeren's Mayor and Jean Lucius, CEO of Enovos Luxembourg, were present to see the engines start their 8,200 hours annual average operation.
For Enovos Luxembourg, this is its first renewable energy investment in Belgium and, the first biogas plant of its kind in Benelux using a pre-fermentation tank to increase production.
The biogas plant is in a predominantly agricultural area and will mainly ferment corn grown in cooperation with farmers within a 20 km area.
The environmentally friendly biogas is converted into electricity using a motor and is fed into the local power grid. The heat from the process dries the fermentation substrates, which are returned to the fields as low-smelling, high-quality fertilisers, in a closed cycle.
Daniel Christnach, Head of Renewable Energies & Cogeneration at Enovos Luxembourg, says, "With a capacity of 2.8 MW, the amount of electricity generated corresponds to the annual consumption of 6,500 households and an annual CO2 reduction of 10,000 tonnes, thus achieving an important step towards further expanding renewable energies."
The capacity of the plant can be expanded to 5.6 MW, if agreed, which could provide green power to all households in Tongeren, which is known as Belgium's oldest city.
Jean Lucius, CEO at Enovos Luxembourg, says, "The participation in the Biopower Tongeren emphasises Enovos' consistent commitment to the field of renewable energy and we are pleased that with this first project we were able to assert this message on the Belgium market."
Enovos Luxembourg S.A. has a stake of 24.9% in the project. Developers NPG Energy N.V. and Pholpa B.V.B.A. are additional partners in Biopower Tongeren N.V. with 47.6% and 27.5% respectively.
Enovos Luxembourg is a major energy supplier to the energy markets in Luxembourg, Germany, France and Belgium. The Enovos Group employs more than 1,300 people and had a turnover of EUR 2.5 billion in 2011.
It aims to generate electricity, natural gas and renewable energy for industries, SMBs, distributors and private households and deliver it to them. It is also expanding its renewable energy projects.
In Belgium, Enovos Luxembourg currently only delivers electricity, natural gas and related services to SMBs and industrial customers.