Biogas Market Serbia, perspective projects and proactive investors

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The Ministry of Energy and Mining of Serbia estimates that the available quantities of liquid animal waste on mid-sized and large chicken and cattle farms may be sufficient to produce some 42,200 toe of biogas energy per year. In combination with residual amounts of biomass from agriculture, a total installed electrical capacity of 80MW may be built to process the corresponding residues. Many foreign investors came in Serbia with ready to finance projects but also many foreign companies entered the market as technology holders bringing different experiences and prices.

Exploring the country?s potential, Serbia has to start from zero, although back in the 1980s nine biogas facilities were constructed on large pig and cow farms. However, eventually these facilities were not put into operation or were abandoned in the early 1990s due to considerable commercial and technical problems. Reconstructing and renewing these sites might be a good start. But this would not provide considerable advantage to entirely new construction, as the existing equipment installed is considered out of date and may not be modified or re-used. It is expected that future investments, e.g. in the Vojvodina region which is assumed to have considerable potential for biogas production and where seven of the nine former installations were located, will concentrate on the largest cattle and pig farms for biogas production from manure, corn silage, slaughter residues, sugar production and food production from various sites in the farms? proximity.

Moreover, investors have provided signals of their willingness to re-establish the former biogas production sites mentioned above and construct new installations at other sites. In addition some activities and plans have been recently announced.

In early 2011, EnviTec Biogas AG claimed that its affiliated EnviTec Biogas South East Europe was to sign a contract for the construction of a biogas installation on a dairy cattle farm in Curug (province of Vojvodina) with the aim of processing liquid manure and corn silage to produce heat and electricity. The installation will have an electrical capacity of 635 kW. The project was assigned by farm operator Velvet Farm, subordinated to the animal feed producing company Global Seeds. According to EnviTec there are some 20 other farms with similar prospects and conditions for biogas generation.

The Serbian service provider for the real estate sector YU Kapital plans to build in 2011 and 2012 two of its own biogas plants and construct an additional three or four for potential clients, preferably in the range of 1MW or smaller.Planned overall investments in 2011 are 10 million