A planned biogas energy plant in Hualien County’s Yuli Township (玉里) could simultaneously tackle energy and environmental concerns once it becomes operational, the county’s Environmental Protection Bureau said on Tuesday last week.
The plant, subsidized by the Environmental Protection Administration, would be the first biogas energy plant in Taiwan and could serve as a blueprint for other such plants, the bureau said.
Once completed, it would be capable of generating up to 800,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year from biomass, such as animal waste, it said.
The Hualien County Government said it plans to collect animal waste to be used at the plant from five farms in Yuli, two in Ruisui Township (瑞穗) and one in Guangfu Township (光復).
The waste would undergo anaerobic fermentation to produce biogas, which would then be used to generate electricity, the county said, adding that the plant would be connected to Taiwan Power Co’s grid.
The government shouldered 49 percent of the project’s estimated cost of NT$85.8 million (US$3 million), the county said.
The plant is expected to go online in June and would reduce the amount of animal waste polluting river systems by 80,000 tonnes per year, it said.
The plant is being built on land provided by local hog farmer Chen Chun-chung (陳春仲), the county said.
The energy generated by the plant would be sufficient to power 250 households, the county added.
Should the plant prove effective in cutting down waste pollution, the county would build a second plant in Ruisui, it said.
Sinotech Environmental Technology Ltd engineer Huang Yen-lin (黃彥霖) said the plant would have capacity for 600m3 of biogas, adding that biogas residue could also be used as fertilizer.
Hualien County Commissioner Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚) during a visit to the facility on Wednesday last week thanked the local farms for supporting the project.
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