On 15 November 2018 North America’s first Kompogas® plant was opened in San Luis Obispo. The dry anaerobic digestion plant marks the first DBFOO project for Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) and contributes significantly to California’s sustainability strategy. Governmental representatives were present as well as delegates of the investor and operational companies.

The opening ceremony was a great success. Around 130 representatives from various business areas and countries where present. Attendees spanned from Michi Kuwahara, Chairman of the Board at Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), officials from the Parent company HZC, dignitaries, repre-sentatives from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), MUFG Bank, Ltd., Waste Connections and The Chairman of the American Biogas Council. But also members of the local city and county governments and prospective customers and other interested parties were present. In various speeches, the facility was hailed as an important milestone for HZI and the progressive community of San Luis Obispo as well as important contributor to meeting the State of California’s Greenhouse Gas reduction and Organics Diversion mandates.

Hitachi Zosen Inova’s First Completely Owned Project
The plant will process the amount of up to 36,500 US tons of green waste and biowaste per year to generate around 2,900,000 Nm3 of biogas and ca. 20,100 US tons of high-grade compost and another 1,700 US tons of liquid fertilizer per annum. All of the biogas will be converted into electricity, delivering a power yield of 6,200,000 kWh/a, enough to cover the annual consumption of more than 600 US households. The compost will be sold separately as high-grade fertilizer for farming and residential gardening.

“For HZI this facility marks a novelty. It is our company’s first project that is completely financed, designed and built by HZI who owns and operates the facility for the next decades. 49% of the finance was provided by JBIC, and 51% was by MUFG bank, Ltd. This is an important milestone for us. But also for the region, which will profit from the plant’s energy production while at the same time make a very important contribution to California’s Green House Gas reduction”, says Michi Kuwahara, Chairman of the HZI Supervisory Board.

Contribution to Environment Targets
The 75 Percent Initiative launched by California in 2011 has created the ideal framework for the San Luis Obispo project. This initiative sets out the state’s declared goal of achieving a 75% reduction in total waste by 2020. The strategies envisaged for achieving this are recycling, com-posting / dry anaerobic digestion, and reducing waste at the source. One of the first steps toward achieving this is the removal of biological waste from landfill sites.

The production of the renewable fuel biogas and compost will further enable the ecologically sustainable and profitable recycling of biowaste as a raw material.

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