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ENER-G Energia Technologia has designed and built a EUR2.6m (GBP1.8m) renewable energy centre at the Budapest wastewater treatment plant in Csepel – as part of the Living Danube programme.

ENER-G has installed a 4.5MWe biogas cogeneration system, together with three 2.5MW Loos boilers for additional hot water generation using natural gas, or biogas.

The company also manages the operations and maintenance services.

The renewable energy centre forms part of a biological treatment complex covering 70,000m on a 29 hectare site at Csepel Island.

The plant will increase the amount of biologically treated wastewater in Budapest to 95 per cent by 2010 – treating an average 350,000m3/day waste water from most of Buda and part of Pest, serving approximately one million people.

Construction of the plant took more than two years and cost nearly half a billion euros, which was financed by the EU, the Hungarian state and Budapest municipality.

It will meet high environmental standards, achieving zero emissions and no odours outside the site borders.

The energy centre will run at up to 80 per cent per cent capacity until September 2010, when it will be fully commissioned.

It will supply up to 4.5MWe of renewable electricity to the site, which provides more than 50 per cent of the plant’s total electricity consumption.

This is the equivalent output of eight large wind turbines.

The maximum 8.5MW heat generated by the combined heat and power (CHP) unit is utilised in the digester process consuming 563m3/h biogas per unit.

‘The Budapest wastewater treatment plant is a vivid example of how effective anaerobic digestion is as a commercial and environmental solution for large-scale projects such as this,’ said Balazs Marialigeti, director of ENER-G.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) transforms organic waste material into energy and is a technology that delivers substantial commercial advantages, while helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Digestion plants produce a biogas that has high methane content of 50-70 per cent.

This otherwise environmentally damaging gas is a rich fuel that can drive a CHP unit to generate both heat and electricity.

The heat can be used in the digestion plant, as well as for heating in nearby buildings, while the renewable electricity can be sold at premium rates.

ENER-G has considerable experience of building, operating and financing major biogas projects across Europe and the company is expanding its team of specialist engineers to meet growing demand for methane-rich biogas projects, such as AD.

ENER-G’s flexible financing includes a capital purchase option; medium and long-term rental of generating plant; discount energy purchase plan for electricity; a shared ROC scheme; and fully financed option, which involves ENER-G installing and operating the generation equipment with no capital cost to the organisation at the ‘back-end’ of the AD process.

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