Agricultural Waste to Biogas Plant to Keep Swiss Army Warm


Construction work has begun on a biogas plant in Bure, Switzerland that will provide heat for the local training barracks of the Swiss Army.

The plant is located in the French speaking Swiss Canton of Jura, which the company said boasts fertile soil and a lot of agriculture, and will be used to treat manure from the surrounding agricultural establishments and agro-industrial waste from the region, including liquid manure, dung, green waste, and grain waste.

The Bio Etique Energie facility will produce 370 kW of electrical output, while its entire heat surplus of 2.6 GWh will be used to heat the nearby barracks, which hosts up to 1400 trainees.

Owing to the composition of the organic resources, the plant will make use of wet fermentation, which is common in agricultural biogas plants, is especially suitable for the utilisation of heterogeneous wastes and does not require any additives.

A 45 cubic metres solid matter dosing feeder will load the substrates into a 3994 cubic metre fermenter, while a gas tight storage unit with a capacity of 4078 cubic metres is large enough for storing the digestate.

As of November 2012 the plant will feed in a net electricity production of 3 GWh/year into the electrical grid – sufficient to continually supply 900 homes with power.

In the future, clearly defined project processes could be decisive for the placement of biogas plant orders in the country, as Switzerland, like Germany, decided in 2011 to gradually abandon nuclear energy.

This will require substantial investments, especially for the development of the power production from renewable energy sources.

The goal is to increase the power generation from renewable energies by one third by 2050. Due to the ongoing availability of the raw material and its positive eco-balance, biogas is considered to have a great potential as an energy source.

According to the builder of the plant, the Swiss could cover about 4.5% of their power requirements and 5% of their heat requirements from biogas, as well as running around half a million vehicles with an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres.


More information

If you want more information on biogas production, please contact Holland Biomass 4 Energy Solutions. We support our customers in every phase of a biogas project, from orientation to exploitation, for (turn-key) installations on a farm scale and larger.