By Antonina Tsymbaliuk and Jack Laurenson
LVIV – Eastern Europe’s largest biogas plant has opened in Teofipol, a farming town in Khmelnytskiy region, midway between Kyiv and Lviv.
Fermenting cow manure, corn silage and sugar beet pulp, the new plant is capable of generating 15.6 mw, enough electricity to power 16,000 households in the region.
Ukraine-2001 invested EUR40 million in the plant which was built by Zorg Biogas of Zurich and uses four engines by GE GE Jenbacher of Austria. Zorg has an engineering office in Kyiv.
These Austrian engines will power Teofipol’s sugar refinery and light up the town of 6,000 people and the surrounding countryside. (supplied)
“Ukraine has a strong potential for the production of biogas, as it is such a large agricultural country,” Ukraine-2001 said in a statement prior to the Dec. 22 inauguration at their sugar refinery. “Agriculture is one of the few industries in Ukraine, which, despite the existing problems in the country, continues to evolve, is attractive to investors.”
The plant, with its massive fermentation tanks, signals a coming of age for biogas in Ukraine, a farming powerhouse where food products account for 42% of exports.
Biogas projects enjoy Ukraine’s favorable ‘green’ electricity tariffs. Over the next 12 years, biogas tariffs are to hover between those of wind and solar. State-owned bank Oschadbank is helping to finance three new biogas plants this year – in Chernihiv, Sumy and Volyn regions.
According to Latifundist farm news site, TH Vimexim, and Gals-Agro are to inaugurate major biogas plants this year. At the same time, Agrospetsservice, Danosh and MHP are to start work on additional plants. If these projects are completed, Ukraine will have doubled its installed biogas in capacity in two years, from 30 mw in 2016.
Ukraine has set an ambitious 3-year target of raising renewables, such as biogas, from 3% of the energy supply today to 11% in 2020.
“We need to keep investing in energy-saving technology as it naturally minimizes our dependency on natural gas,” Victor Bondar, Member of Parliament for the Khmelnytskiy region, said at the Ukraine-2001 biogas inauguration ceremony. “Energy security and energy independence for our state is vital.”
Victor Bondar (red tie), Rada MP for Khmelnytskiy region, traveled 340 km west from Kyiv last month to inaugurate the nearly $50 million biogas project. (supplied)
He praised renewable energy projects for sparking major investments, for creating new jobs and for raising tax revenues.
In other renewable projects, work is to start this year on two massive wind farms near the Black Sea.
In December, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, approved $150 million in financing and $250 million in insurance for EuroCape Ukraine LLC for to building a 500mw wind farm facing the Sea of Azov.
Also this year, between Odesa and Mykolaiv, work is to start on a second 500 mw huge wind farm, built by TBEA International, of Xinjiang, China.
UBJ Editor in Chief James Brooke contributed reporting.
For comments or story ideas, please contact Jack Laurenson at email@example.com
Slider photo: In this drone photo taken last fall, two sets of six fermentation tanks rise next to Ukraine-2001’s Teofoil sugar refinery, (supplied)
Posted Jan. 9, 2018