Biogas in Russia - Low Hanging Fruits Reference Book

Monday, September 22, 2014 11:14 AM

Low hanging fruits article

Russia is known for its very large resource of natural gas and export of gas to Europe. A natural question to ask is: “Why biogas in Russia?” The answers are that due to very high CO2 emission, Russia also needs COneutral energy. In addition, biogas can improve the environmental conditions for livestock production in such a way that nutrients such as N, P and K can be utilized and not just be seen as a pollution of rivers.


A couple of years ago, Renew Energy A/S started working with a Russian partner, R-Energo, to develop a biogas project I Novgorod, 1½ hour southeast of St. Petersburg. The project will be situated next to a very large pig farm – Novgorodski Bekon – with an annual production of 200,000 slaughtered pigs and also a milk production. In addition, the biogas plant will treat organic waste from chicken production and from slaughter house.


The project will produce enough gas to fuel 2.8 MW gas engines and produce approximately 25,000,000 kWh of power per year and the same in heat. The produced energy will be used by the farm and in a nearby 20.000 m2 greenhouse. Surplus of power will be sold to the grid company. Total cost for the project is estimated at EUR 11 million and the project will have a payback time less than 10 years.


The environmental impact of the livestock production can be compared with a city of more than 200,000 inhabitants and today, the manure is led untreated to a sedimentation pond. The wastewater ends up in Neva River, which is passing St. Petersburg on its way to the Baltic Sea. The biogas process will improve the quality of the fertilizers – N, P and K – and efficient land application can reduce the pollution of the river and the Baltic Sea.


In November 2012, the project was approved to be a pilot project under the Agency of Strategic Investment, ASI. It was our expectation that, thanks to the ASI approval, the project would be financed right away. However, our Russian partner did not fully understand that ASI could only assist with bank connection.


Cooperation with Consulate General in St. Petersburg was established in mid 2013, and with very active support from the Consulate, EKF and NEFCO since then, the project is now in a stage where financing, hopefully, can be completed and the project can be built in 2015. 


Our cooperation with the Consulate General has been continued to one of the “Low Hanging Fruits” projects, and Renew Energy has prepared a feasibility report for a brewery in Khabarovsk. It shows that it could be attractive to produce biogas and energy based on spent grain and other waste products. Fuel oil can almost completely be substituted. CHG will be reduced by more than 8,500 tons CO2 per year, and the investment will have a payback time of less than eight years.