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Biogas production for sustainable development in Rural Georgia

The project combines Swedish knowledge and local Georgian experience, and covers the technological development, start-up and changing of biogas digesters. The concept has been further developed with the aid of a grant from DemoEnvironment.

Experts, beneficiaries and participants on a study visit at Kaspi biogas digester.

Sweco experts, Bioenergy team, beneficiaries of biogas digesters and participants of the trainingprogramme on a study visit at Kaspi biogas digester.

Background

The existing biogas digester technology inGeorgianeeded to be adapted to the climatic, seismological and social conditions of theCaucasusregion. Improvements were needed in terms of efficiency, health, safety and sustainable farming.

Partners in the project

The buyer of the equipment, the Georgian project partner, was Bioenergy NGO. The Swedish project partner was SWECO International AB, and sub-contractors were Biosystems and JTI.

Problems to be solved

There are problems with deforestation as well as soil and water pollution in Georgia. Wood is used for fuel in the rural areas, resulting in deforestation. This leads to infrastructure damage from rainfall-induced landslides. Manure and organic waste from small farms is stored and spread inappropriately, resulting in soil and water pollution.

The introduction of upgraded biogas digesters can help solving these problems since:

  • Organic waste will be handled in a more optimal way.
  • Waste for biogas production will utilize and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Biogas for cooking will utilize and reduce the use of firewood (less deforestation).
  • Storage and spreading of organic matter will improve and reduce the need of chemical fertilisers and increases crop yields.

Goals of the project

  • To promote the benefits of renewable energy (biogas) and sustainable farming (biological fertilizer)  
  • To educate biogas digester owners in the benefits of sustainable farming and organic production.
  • To improve biogas digester design.

Description of demonstration project in Khoni and Kaspi in Georgia

Based on the description above, BioEnergy recived
SEK 1 950 000 from DemoEnvironment for constructing and building two upgraded biogas digesters in Georgia, one in the region of Khoni (on 10 m3) and the other in the Kasp region (on 50 m3).

The grant from DemoEnvironment was used to cover costs regarding equipment, knowledge transfer, consultancy and travel costs.

Left: Khoni biogas digester - Right: Kaspi biogas digester.

Khoni biogas digester (left) and Kaspi biogas digester (right).

Knowledge transfer and consultancy was achieved from Sweco through, for example:

  • A first workshop on Bioenergy in June 2008 in Georgia. The Swedish team outlined measures to improve existing technology. Suggestions by the Swedish team were incorporated into the planning of future biogas digesters, and building work commenced at selected farms.
  • A Georgian study tour to Sweden in September 2008 including workshops, lectures and a visit to a successful biodynamic farm. 
  • The Swedish team made suggestions for improvement, in connection with a visit to Georgia in January 2009, when both digesters were almost completed.
  • The Swedish team visited Georgia in spring 2009. Lectures and presentations were held and there were study visits to Biogas plants. In total, 45 people were trained to be guides to promote the two Demonstration projects in Georgia.

Results of the demonstration project

The demonstration project promoted biogas technology and lead to improved soil production.

The construction of the two biogas digesters lead to the promotion of biogas technology.  The biogas digesters are available for study and promotional visits in order for the technology to be spread within the country.
 
At the monastery in Khoni, where one of the biogas digesters were constructed and organic fertiliser was used alone since spring 2009, the soil productivity is 53 % higher.

The awareness of biogas plants will continue to be raised trough study visits, exhibitions and publicity. The training material used will be useful in further education, and training participants will disseminate information, particularly to the isolated rural areas of Georgia.

Photo: Stefan Berry

Senast ändrad
26 mars 2014 14:43