Tue, Jul 23, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Pigs to generate grid’s electricity

Staff writer, with CNA

The Changhua County Government has signed a contract with a hog farm in Fangyuan Township (芳苑) that will make the farm the first demonstration site for biogas power generation in the county.

The plant will use biogas recovered from treating the pig farm’s wastewater to generate electricity, the county government said. Present at the signing ceremony on July 17 were Changhua County Deputy Commissioner Yang Chung (楊仲) and Hanbao Farm Co chairman Chen Hsiu-hsiung.

Yang said Changhua County is a major pig-raising county with numerous small and medium-sized farms that raise about 800,000 pigs, which generate a large volume of wastewater.

Although the wastewater from hog farms is currently treated before being discharged into rivers, it still affects the environment to a certain extent, Yang said.

Under this latest project with Hanbao Farm, the county government will build a wastewater treatment center that meets higher water standards.

The center will capture the biogas byproduct as part of the processing and help to feed it to a power generator, Yang said.

The county hopes that farmers and the wider public will — through this government-private sector cooperation model — begin to see how wastewater can be reused as a resource rather than a nuisance to farmers and the environment, Yang added.

The biogas recovered from the water treatment process can help solve another major headache of farmers — the amount they pay for electricity, which is their second-highest operating expense after fertilizer.

Once the new system is ready, Hanbao Farm will be able to generate an estimated 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year through its biogas and existing solar power facilities, and sell it to Taiwan Power Co, Chen said.

Hanbao Farm’s owner said the wastewater treatment and biogas generation facility can be economically viable for any hog farm that raises at least 5,000 pigs.

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