Expanding Biogas Production to Meet Growing Maritime Demand 

expanding biogas production
The world's largest biogas plant is located in Norway

Published Apr 29, 2021 8:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

The world’s largest biogas production plant is beginning the first of two expansions which when completed with nearly double its production capabilities. The plant is expanding to meet the needs of both the shipping and over road transportation industries and reflecting the growing demand for green fuel sources.

The plan located near Trondheim on the west coast of Norway in the town of Skogn currently produces 10,000 tons of green fuel annually. It has been in operation since 2018 supply liquid biofuel primarily to the shipping industry. Among its customers is the Norwegian shipping company Hurtigruten, which is committed to operating its fleet entirely on green fuels.

“The expansion of Skogn is an important step for us. Earlier this year, we also received a grant from Klimatklivet by the Swedish government for the expansion of the facilities in the Stockholm area to liquid biogas. Biogas is today the purest energy technology because it takes care of waste and converts it into energy. In addition, it can be applied to the internal combustion engines on the market without major modifications," said Matti Vikkula, CEO of the Scandinavian Biogas Group. According to the company they see growing demand with an increasing number of shipping and transport companies seeking the green fuel solution.

The company, which is working with four main contractors, ABB, Andion, Grande, and Wärtsilä, reports that the financing and permits are now all in place for work to proceed on the expansion. The second and third phases of the plant will be built along the waterfront providing optimal positioning and access for the plant.

The production of biogas utilizes anaerobic digestion to increase the conversion of biological waste into liquid biogas fuel. The biological waste consists of agricultural byproducts, including cow manure, fish waste, and byproduct from the Norwegian fish farming industry and process water from the pulp and paper industry. Agreements are in place with suppliers of waste (feedstock) to increase the supply of the raw materials used in the production.

The expansion is structured in two stages, with the first being the addition of 3,500 tons of biofuel production capacity at Skogn II. The company is investing $20 million in this phase which is expected to be completed and begin production in the third quarter of 2022. At Skogn III an additional 6,500 tons of capacity will be added to production. Total production capacity is expected to reach 35 GWh of biogas. 

In addition to Skogn, the company has facilities for biogas in Sweden and South Korea.