India-based biogas plant celebrates grand opening

By Marquard & Bahls AG | February 15, 2013

After the successful start-up phase of the biogas plant in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India, which has been under way since mid-December 2012, the festive opening took place on Jan. 26, 2013. With this step, the first biogas plant of Mabagas' Indian subsidiary is now also officially connected to the national power grid.

The plant of IOT Mabagas Ltd., a joint venture between Mabagas and IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services Ltd., was constructed in close collaboration with IOT's EPC business unit, thus taking advantage of existing synergies within the Marquard & Bahls group. The facility is a single-step wet fermentation plant comprising four fermenters (two cascades with two fermenters each) with an overall volume of 16,000 cubic meters. In full operation, approx. 8 million cubic meters of biogas per year can be produced, which will be converted into power via two combined-heat-and-power stations (CHP) of 1.2 MW each. The plant digests solely waste material such as chicken litter and residues from the local starch and sugar industries. In doing so, IOT Mabagas Ltd. deliberately refrains from using energy crops, which are often in competition with the food production.

As of April 2013, the plant will be able to produce sufficient power to meet the annual electricity needs of over 5,000 households in India. The fermentation residues formed in the process are separated, sun-dried, and then used as fertilizer on surrounding farmland.