april 21, 2021

Waternet Amsterdam: First biomethane injected in national grid

Milestone achieved at Waternet Asset Management biomethane project

Key words: biogas, biomethane, biogas upgrading, power, renewable energy, vehicle fuel, CNG, renewable energy

Author: Marjolein Overbosch

The wastewater treatment plant of Waterschap Amstel, Gooi & Vecht, produces biogas. This biogas is upgraded to biomethane using the DMT biogas upgrading technology. The first cubic meter of biomethane was injected into the national grid on March 19th. By achieving this important milestone, the project enters the third and final phase; the full operation of the site for the upcoming 15 years which will be managed by DMT on behalf Waternet.

The development of the Waternet project

In the first phase was the planning and development phase. DMT delivered a total engineering and design package for a biogas upgrading plant to process 2050Nm3/h of raw biogas. This design included the purification, conditioning, compression and drying of the gas to achieve the required quality for biomethane injection into the gas grid. A RAMS study was performed to investigate quality of the primary performance and to guarantee a 98% uptime of the biogas upgrading system. Based on reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety, the desired performance of a product or system can be described, determined, and monitored.

Waternet assigned a greenfield to build the biogas upgrading system, this meant DMT had to prepare the ground and has arranged all permitting and approvals. This entailed responsibility of the permitting for environmental approvements and emissions, permitting for the build of the system and biomethane gas grid injection permits. But also soil investigation, preparation of the ground, pipework, HDD drilling, power supplies, fencing, entrance gates, security installation, power transformation building and the flare A 3D model of the layout and design of the entire biogas upgrading plant was developed to create a visual.

Biomethane, a reliable renewable energy

The build of the entire biogas upgrading site including the technical installation, the civil works, the injection of the biomethane in the national gas grid and the fueling stations, determining the second phase of the project. In a collaboration with OrangeGas the biomethane is compressed to Bio-CNG, a highly efficient transportation fuel, and distributed to their fueling stations. Part of the biomethane is injected in the national gas grid and is used as power for the households in the local area. An ISCC-certificate proofs the gas originates from a pure sustainable source and marks the competition of the build of the biogas upgrading system. The biogas upgrading process has started and the production of biomethane is up and running.

Now that the biogas upgrading plant is producing biomethane, we enter the last phase of the project, the daily operation. In the case of Waternet this is for a period of 15 years where DMT is responsible for the performance of the biogas upgrading plant. DMT is not only responsible for the performance but is directly in charge of the renewable gas production. All the DMT biogas upgrading systems are designed to be operated remotely using cutting edge software which means the system can be monitored from a distance. The software generates periodic evaluation reports in which the performance of the plant is evaluated on essential requirements. The biogas upgrading systems are operated from a control room in which the biogas upgrading system is supervised 24/7. If needed one of the DMT engineers can be on site within two hours.

Collaborate to reduce emissions

As of March 19th, the upgraded biogas is injected into the Dutch National gas grid. 14,7 million m3 raw biogas is upgraded into 9,7 million m3 biomethane, providing about 10% of the total amount of green gas utilized by the national grid in the Netherlands. The biomethane is going to provide households in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with green energy. Trucks, public transport, and taxis are also going to use this gas as the clean fuel CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). This is good news as we are nearing the record for the highest CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in history. By transitioning to green energy this project will reduce carbon emissions equal to 13,2 million kilometres of read traffic. This results in a significant reduction of the carbon footprint of the transportation sector in Amsterdam.