Energy generated by the anaerobic digestion plant will replace the millions of dollars worth of natural gas currently consumed by the abattoir.
This is the first time the proven technology has been applied to a covered lagoon, an application where it has enormous further potential in countries with strong agribusiness sectors.
According to Oakey Abattoir General Manager Pat Gleeson, once the plant has repaid its cost of construction through gas purchase savings (expected to take less than five years), it will then continue to deliver benefits and profitability far into the future. It was installed by environmental engineering and green energy firm CST Wastewater Solutions.
The Oakey plant will feature re-use of the biogas in its boilers, where it is initially expected to replace usage of about 50,000 gigajoules of natural gas each year.
“Yet another outstanding benefit is that anaerobic digestion produces reliable and predictable base-load power - unlike some other green-energy technologies, it is not dependent on the wind blowing or the sun shining,” said CST Wastewater Solutions’ Managing Director Michael Bambridge.
“The environmental and cost benefits of COHRAL technology as deployed by Oakey Abattoir are outstanding and something we expect to attract world attention for agribusiness, including meat, dairy and crop waste processing.”