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Agricultural waste to power Colombian egg farms

The electricity produced by the anaerobic digestion plant will be used to power the farm's existing operations.

German biogas plant specialists Weltec Biopower are to build an 800kW biogas plant for Colombia’s largest egg producer. 

Incubadora Santander’s plant will be fuelled by dry chicken manure and process water from the company’s poultry farms near the western Colombian province of Cauca. In total, the farms produce some 3.5 million eggs daily, which are then sold in 14 different cities across Colombia. The electricity ultimately produced by the plant will be used to power the company’s existing operations.  

The plant will utilise the process of anaerobic digestion, in which organic material is broken down by microorganisms in an airtight container. The process will further produce a fertiliser suitable for use on the company’s own land.

Weltec Biopower has built waste-to-energy plants in Poland, England and Finland, as well as agricultural biogas plants in the Czech Republic, Italy and Uruguay. The company constructs its facilities using stainless steel because the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia produced in the fermentation process can corrode other materials.

Incubadora Santander Manager Montoya Muñoz is keen to expand the brand across the globe using “various measures such as direct investments and strategic alliances”.

“In the coming years, we will step up our production to 10 million eggs a day,” Muñoz said in a statement.

Colombia has a target to produce 6.5 per cent of its on-grid electricity from renewable sources by 2020, as well as a target to source 30 per cent of off-grid power from renewables.

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