Green Energy. TOP 5 Agricultural Companies Producing Biogas
Bioenergy accounts for 70% of all renewable energy sources in Ukraine and is rightfully an integral part of the country's transition to green energy production. Experts argue that Ukraine has the capacity to fully replace imported energy resources through the production of biogas.
Acting as participants in this process, agricultural companies not only generate annually an enormous amount of biomass (crop and livestock by-products) but in recent years have significantly enhanced their capacity for green energy production. Sugar beet processors, poultry and pig farms are the most active in this respect. Sugar production is very energy-intensive, so the use of renewable energy in the production cycle is a profitable alternative to imported natural gas. Apart from the economic effect, the development of biogas production allows to significantly reduce the negative impact on nature and improve the environmental situation in the country.
According to the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (UABIO), in 2019, eight enterprises commissioned biogas plants, operating on agricultural raw materials, with a total capacity of 31.3 MWe(megawatt electrical). The largest was the project of MHP agro-industrial holding, which in December last year launched the first phase of Biogas Ladyzhyn complex with the installed energy capacity of 12 MW. After the launch of the second phase, the capacity of the complex will reach 24 MW and Biogas Ladyzhyn will become the world's largest enterprise for processing organic waste from the broiler industry.
In 2020, agricultural holdings continued commissioning new biogas plants. In August, I&U Group officially launched a 6 MW biogas complex in Kirovohrad region. The plant, which will process sugar production waste and silage into raw materials for thermal and electric energy, was invested in EUR 23 mln, of which EUR 13 mln was a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Under the data of the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine (SAEE), there are 51 biogas plants in the country. Member of the Expert Council of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine Petro Kucheruk informed that as of July 1, 2020, there are 34 plants in Ukraine operating under the green tariff with the total capacity of 96.701 MWe. The agro-industrial complex operates 26 biogas plants, 24 of which are designed for the production of electric energy, the rest for production of thermal energy. The total capacity of 18 biogas plants processing agricultural raw materials under the green tariff is 54.294 MW. Another six stations are still operating without the green tariff set.
Despite the fact that many companies announce plans to build and expand biogas facilities, experts believe that generally investors' interest in such projects in the near future will be lower than in 2018-19. This is associated with changes in the market rules (revision of legislation to promote energy production from renewable energy sources in general and biomass in particular) and with the instability of payments for green tariff, which started late last year.
"We will not see a burst of construction of biogas plants like in 2018-19, although single projects will be implemented. Perhaps, stimulation of other areas of biogas consumption and biomethane will give a new impetus to the industry development. Time will show," Petro Kucheruk says.
The given below rating features companies in Ukraine operating the largest biogas plants at agricultural enterprises.
Data sources: UABIO, Latifundist.com