Chesterfield BioGas win new contract to supply biogas upgrader

Published 5th September 2013 at 12:07pm

Chesterfield BioGas (CBG) has secured a contract to supply a biogas upgrader to a major UK project for converting food waste to gas for injection into the national grid.

The company, based in Meadowhall, Sheffield, sees it as evidence that the market for renewable energy production in the UK is beginning at last to gather some real momentum, after the UK Government clarified the framework of incentives for investors and commercial operators.

The contract, for a ‘Totara’ biogas-to-biomethane upgrader, has been placed by ReFood UK Ltd, for installation on its energy generation site at Widnes on Merseyside. ReFood – the integrated bioenergy arm of the PDM Group – is further developing the site to process commercial and domestic food waste and to supply the upgraded gas for injecting into the national grid.

The ‘Totara’ unit will process gas received from an anaerobic digester (AD) at a rate of between 650 and 2000 cubic metres of gas per hour. 29 are currently operating successfully at sites around the world, including 5 working in series at what is currently the world’s largest site for biomethane production at Güstrow in Germany.

Like all CBG upgraders, the unit for ReFood employs the Greenlane® water-scrubbing method which requires no heat and no chemicals to operate, just water, much of which can be re-cycled. Such systems – for which CBG is the sole technology partner in the UK – are the most widely proven in the field, with a model in the range working at one of over 70 sites worldwide.

CBG will also provide long-term 24/7 monitoring of the upgrader’s performance. The aftercare includes a planned maintenance programme, and a monthly site visit by a UK-based CBG engineer, for evaluation of operational data and any necessary training of the system’s operators.

Managing Director, Stephen McCulloch said:

“We have been given to understand that our UK presence and the long-term support we offer were significant factors in CBG being awarded this contract.

“With the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) now in place, it has become clear that producing gas for grid injection is a more commercially attractive option – hence the Widnes site will be engineered to include that output.

“CBG has a significant pipeline of enquiries for a diverse range of projects, some at advanced stages of negotiation.

“What has become clear from this situation is that water-wash technology is now widely regarded as the best solution for larger biogas-producing operations. The technology also deals very well with VOC’s important in ensuring it meets the gas safety regulations (GSMR).”

CBG expect to install the upgrader at Widnes in April 2014.