Weltec to expand biogas project in Uruguay

By Erin Voegele | November 17, 2017

Germany-based Weltec Biopower recently signed a contract to expand a biogas facility in Uruguay for Estancias del Lago, a producer of powered milk. Weltec set up an initial biogas plant for EDL in 2013 and will complete the expansion project in late 2018.

Weltec said EDL was founded in 2007 and currently farms approximately 37,000 hectares (91,428.99 acres), growing maize, sorghum and soy beans as feed for the company’s 14,000 dairy cows. EDL produces approximately 20,000 tons of powdered milk annually for export, primarily to China, Brazil and the Middle East.

In 2013, Weltec installed an 800-kW biogas plant for EDL. The company’s business has since expanded from 8,000 to 14,000 cows. Weltec said the facility now has 1,365 tons of cattle manure and 8.4 tons of feed leftovers that are available for energy generation.

Early next year, Weltec will begin installing six new 5,000-cubic-meter stainless steam digesters and two 1,050-cubic-meter prestorage tanks for slurry. The project will also feature Weltec’s process control system CeMOS, with the entire biogas plant to be fully automated by the end of 2018.

According to Weltec, two gas boilers use a portion of the 30,000 standard cubic meters of biogas produced each day to generate heat for the biogas process. The majority of the biogas, however, is transferred to the adjacent milk powder production facility via a pipeline. The biogas suppliers approximately 35 percent of the heat required for the drying process. Weltec also said 100 percent of the steam needed at the plant is generated using biogas.