Hitachi Zosen Inova BioMethan GmbH (HZI BioMethan) has been awarded the contract to build another biogas and biomethane production facility in France. The plant, which will be custom-designed to the needs of the client, is the first in a series of eight projects to be delivered by HZI BioMethan over the next year with project developer Artaim Conseil.

The Herpy-l’Arlésienne facility, around 30 kilometers northwest of the city of Reims in northern France, is the first of eight projects to be delivered by 2020 in collaboration with Artaim Conseil, a French project developer based in Montpothier. HZI BioMethan has been appointed as the general contractor to deliver the EUR 3.42 million contract, which comprises a digester system with three tanks for producing biogas by wet fermentation, and a membrane unit for upgrading it to biomethane.
The client will use the facility to process renewable raw materials such as greens, energy crops and corn straw to generate up to 300 Nm³/h of natural gas, which from summer 2020 will be fed into the gas supply grid operated by GRTgaz.

Technology Maximizes Utilisation of Resources
HZI BioMethan’s plant will have special features meeting the client’s precise requirements. Mainly greens, grasses and other agricultural residues are fed into biogas plants. But since the region cultivates a lot of corn, the operator of Herpy-l’Arlésienne also wants to use his corn straw for energy production. Therefore, the facility’s solids feed system will feature a disruptor. This cutting equipment shreds fibrous material and highly structured biomass that would otherwise disturb the agitators in the tank and possibly lead to settling. The disruptor can be retrofitted to the solids feed system at little work and cost, and can therefore be built into existing facilities. Because of the relatively high proportion of dry matter, HZI BioMethan has redesigned the way the piping is routed in the Herpy-l’Arlésienne plant, and has built a separator into the digester system. Usually this component separates the digestate into liquid and solid fractions for use as either liquid fertilizer or spreading manure. In the new project, by contrast, the liquid fraction will be fed into the digester to compensate for the higher proportion of dry matter, optimizing the process biology and enabling the micro-organisms to work more efficiently.

Winning Team for Biogas Projects
The client has opted for a winning team: Artaim Conseil and HZI BioMethan. The French project developer and the German gas upgrading technology specialist have already planned, constructed, and commissioned 15 plants together. Another six are currently at the execution phase. Following the award of the contract in April, planning and basic engineering for the plant will now commence.

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