The construction work for an anaerobic digestion plant from German manufacturer Weltec Biopower started in South Korea in October. The plant site is located about 80 km north of the capital Seoul, in Gyeonggi-do province. The 450-kW biogas plant is scheduled to go live in the early summer of 2016. The highly developed technology with smart control will ensure a high level of efficiency of the second South Korean Weltec plant.
In South Korea, major investments are made in the energy sector, and the development of renewable energy sources has been a top priority for several years. For good reason: the republic with its population of 51 million is one of the world‘s 10 largest power consumers. However, the country does not have any significant fossil resources and is forced to import 97 percent of its conventional energy sources.
One of the reasons why Weltech Biopower attracted the attention of the transformer manufacturer was that the German plant manufacturer had already built a biogas plant in the south of the country back in 2012. However, the customer‘s final decision in favor of Weltec was based on the fact that the technical plant concept for the new project is custom-tailored to the region‘s special needs and South Korea‘s ecological goals. “The sustainable waste disposal concept and the efficient processing of the input substances into high-nutrient fertilizer were decisive factors,” explains Harro Brons, project manager.
Starting from the early summer of 2016, the operator will supply the stainless-steel digester with its capacity of almost 4,000 m3 with 100 tons of organic waste a day, whereof 70 % are pig manure. This feedstock will be converted into biogas and high-quality fertilizer by anaerobic digestion. Subsequently, the fertilizer will be stored in two stainless-steel digestate storage units of 5,590 m3 each until it is used. The generated biogas will be used to operate a combined heat and power plant with an electrical output of 450 kilowatt. The power will be fed directly into the power grid, and the heat will be used for heating the company buildings and for internal processes.
Doubtlessly, the key to the high performance of this biogas plant is the deployed technology. In South Korea, the optimum function of the components will be controlled by the PLC-based LoMOS control, which is custom-developed by Weltec. The precise plant control enables a high degree of automation and optimum remote maintenance. To make the user interface as user-friendly as possible, a special detail has been taken into consideration. “For this project, we programmed the control in Korean,” says Brons. Thus, the basis has been established for the smooth operation and the first steps to achieve South Korea‘s energy goals.