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ADBA member Agraferm builds first commercial scale gas-to-grid plant at Poundbury


The anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Poundbury, Dorest, built by Agraferm Technologies AG, for J V Energen a joint venture between local farmers and the Duchy of Cornwall, was opened today [21 Nov] by the Prince of Wales. It is the first commercial scale biomethane plant supplying gas directly into Scotia Gas Networks gas grid, the second largest gas distribution company in the country.

Dr Christian Hofmann, Chairman, Agraferm Technologies AG

The close co-operation with the gas distributor Scotia Gas Networks, who were involved in the project from the beginning, combined with the problem-free construction of the plant and the excellent collaboration with J V Energen LLP ultimately led to the successful and timely completion of the project.

Sitting on Duchy of Cornwall land just outside Poundbury the plant is well integrated into the surrounding countryside and fulfils the high ecological standards of this region. The town created by His Royal Highness in 1994 is known internationally as a pioneering example of urban development and is an example of a sustainable community designed to put the needs of people before cars, mixing high-density social and private housing with work and leisure facilities.

The plant can digest maize, grass silage, potato waste and manure at a maximum capacity of around 41,000 tonnes per year. Even the residue substrate is put to good use. Every year about 8,000 tonnes of solid and 22,000 tonnes of liquid digestate containing valuable nutrients for the chalky soil of the region will be used as fertiliser for the fields.

With a total output of 5 MW the plant, which has only a 3,300 m3 fermenter and a 5,030 m3 secondary fermenter will feed around 400 standard m3 of biomethane into the national gas grid each hour and is also generating enough electricity to supply 500 homes.

Dr Christian Hofmann, Chairman, Agraferm Technologies AG

We are working intensively on expansion abroad, with Great Britain taking the lead in our international efforts. Agraferm with its refined and versatile technology is very well set up for this market.

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