During 2011, Xergi’s French subsidiary, Xergi SAS, will supply a biogas plant to the French bio-energy company META-BIO Energies in the town of Bel-Air de Combrée in western France. French Caisse des Dépôts participates in the project with an equity of up to 23 per cent of the share capital together with Société Groupe Chazé Environnement.
The biogas plant will be built to process a wide range of different biomasses, which is the primary reason why META-BIO energies chose Xergi as its supplier.
"The plant will process solid biomass, liquid biomass and fats. This means that we will be very flexible as we will not be dependent on deliveries of specific kinds of biomass," explains Jean-Paul Chazé, the owner of META-BIO Energies.
Since 2007, META-BIO Energies has produced high-quality compost and fertiliser products based on biomass received from market gardens. In addition to producing green energy, the flexible biogas plant will also provide the company with an opportunity to develop their range of fertiliser products produced from biomass residue.
Investing in renewable energy
META-BIO Energies works intelligently, converting organic waste into valuable fertiliser products. This process will be fortified by the addition of the biogas plant and the value of the organic waste will increase at the same time, as its energy content will be used to produce electricity and heat.
Xergi has more than 20 years of experience in constructing and operating biogas plant in Europe and the US. Xergi can draw on a wealth of international experience and, through the company’s French subsidiary, ensure that plant design and construction process are adapted to meet French legislative and environmental requirements.
Breakthrough in France
For Xergi, the agreement with META-BIO Energies represents a major step forward in the company strategy to become a leading supplier of biogas plants in the French market.
"On the French biogas market, focus is aimed at utilising many different kinds of biomass. In competitive terms, we are extremely powerful in this particular field. We have constructed several biogas plants in different countries which, like the French project, are designed to process a wide variety of different biomass types," explains Xergi CEO Jørgen Ballermann.
Converting biomass into energy and fertiliser
The new biogas plant will have an annual process capacity of 23,000 tons of biomass which is expected to originate from the food industry, agriculture and municipal waste. Facilities for receiving all kinds of biomass will be installed, and the plant will be fitted with an Xergi unit specially designed to homogenise and pasteurise biomass.
Energy will be produced using a gas-engine with 1 MW output, corresponding to the energy consumed by approximately 4,000 people. The green electricity will be sold to Electricité de France.
The hot water produced when cooling the gas-engine will be used by a local company.
The production of green electricity and heat means that the plant will ensure a reduction in annual carbon emissions of 1,400 tons. Moreover, the fertiliser that is produced from the biomass residue will substitute inorganic fertilisers, which are produced using large quantities of fossil fuels.
Construction work started in May and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2011.
Xergi also has a UK subsidiary, Xergi Ltd. based in Woking, Surrey. Xergi Ltd. has recently commissioned two plants in the UK. The first at Staples Vegetables, Boston, Lincs, the second at Dalry in Ayrshire, Scotland for Scottish and Southern Energy.