Biogas System at Sewage Treatment Plant (Belarus)

Biogas System at Sewage Treatment Plant (Belarus)

biogas system at sewage treatment plant minsk belarus2006 – 2007

Client: Municipal Unitary Company “Department of Municipal Economy of the Minsk City Executive Committee”

Minsk Water Treatment Plant (MWTP) is a municipal facility built in 1960-ies for domestic and industrial sewage treatment.  The actual discharge of influent sewage is 264,700 thousand m3 per year.

The sewage undergoes mechanical and biological treatment. The mixture of raw sediment and activated sludge (3,000-4,000 m3 a day) are dewatered with eight three-phase centrifuges decreasing the moisture content by 75-78% with a 7 times reduction in volume to 540-550 m3 of sludge (or 160 tons of solids) a day.

The original design of MWTP had provided for anaerobic digestion of sludge in specially constructed methane tanks.  The generated biogas was used for the MWTP’s internal needs and for heating several residential buildings.  In 1970-ies, this technology was banned in the USSR because of an accident at a similar facility; the methane tanks were taken out of service and are inoperable.  That brings along the sludge disposal problems  which could be partially resolved by introducing a biogas facility. Currently the sludge is in open ponds outside the city area, causing various environmental problems, including smell, ground water issues and methane release to the atmosphere.

Greenfield Consulting was commissioned in a multi stage project by the World Bank to prepare a feasibility study and business plan – together with local consultants – for constructing modern anaerobic digestion biogas facilities to the MWTP and a CHP engine power plant for the use of biogas. The anaerobic digestor would process the sludge from the wastewater treatment plant of the UC “Minskvodokanal” in a controlled way and reduce the environmental issues significantly. The feasibility study provided a preliminary technical design and cost estimates for the biogas and CHP generation, complete with connections to power grid and DH network. The Business Plan presented a business model for the biogas and heat and power sales, including analysis from the financial, environmental, technical and organizational standpoints. Based on the Business Plan, Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO, a special arm of Nordic Investment Bank) continued the project development.