E.ON Opens 10-MW Biomethane Plant

A joint bioethanol project by Schmack Biogas and E.ON has been officially inaugurated. Europe’s largest and most advanced biomethane plant is located in Schwandorf in the Upper Palatinate region of Bavaria. The facility has a rated biogas output of approximately 10 megawatts (MW), which is fed into the existing natural gas grid after processing.

“If used in a cogeneration plant, the biomethane produced in Schwandorf could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65%,” said Dr. Frank Mastiaux, managing director of E.ON Climate & Renewables.

Built by Schmack Biogas in cooperation with E.ON Climate & Renewables and E.ON Bioerdgas GmbH, the plant refines biogas to natural gas quality, which allows it to be fed into the natural gas grid. The plant processes approximately 80,000 tons of maize, grass and other catch crops per year, sufficient to produce approximately 16 million cubic metres of biogas. The materials come from more than 100 farms in the Schwandorf region.

Ulrich Schmack, vice-chairman of the Schmack board, said that he believes the Schwandorf plant marks the inception of a new era of biogas technology.

“This plant allows the most varied agricultural products to be converted into biomethane in a highly energy efficient way,” he said.

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