German biogas and biomethane plant manufacturer WELTEC BIOPOWER (WELTEC) has commissioned a new biogas plant in Saitama Prefecture – 40km north of Tokyo – in Japan, marking the company’s fourth such plant to begin operations in the country.

Equipped with a 450-kW (kilowatt) cogeneration power plant, the new facility – along with the three pre-existing plants - uses leftover organic waste as a substrate which is introduced to the digester through a central pump. 

WELTEC’s newest plant features a stainless-steel digester with a total capacity of 2,823-m3 with a diameter of 25.34m and a height of 6.3m. Its stainless-steel upstream substrate storage tank is capable of holding 336-m3 at a diameter of 9.31m and a height of 5.03m. 

The plant’s modular design and focus on stainless steel components (including the 525-m3 digestate storage tank) is well-suited for Japan’s seismically active nature, according to Valdimir Bogatov, International Sales Manager, WELTEC. 

“The Japanese appreciate the custom plant design and the benefits of our modular approach, especially because the plant structure with stainless-steel modules facilitates the consideration of the special risks in areas that experience a lot of seismic activity,” he added. 

Based on results of a lab analysis conducted on the produced gas at another WELTEC plant the raw material mix and retention time have been optimised to help maximise the company’s biogas yield.

The new facility marks the continued recognition by nuclear energy proponent Japan of biogas as a sustainable, alternative fuel.