New Biogas Power Plant at Landfill Near Panama City
The Danish based Semco Maritime built a new biogas fuelled power plant in Panama. The plant will be operated by methane gas from a 50-acre landfill. This could lead to more plants in the region.
After a few years of attempts the way has now been cleared for a new gas-fired power plant in Panama. The plant is operated by recovered methane gas from a big landfill at Cerro Patacon, near the capital Panama City. The plant will be built by the Panamanian company Urbalia, a company in the Ethuss Group, who owns and operates landfills. In 2011 Ethuss took over the operation of the Patacon landfill for a 15-year period.
The power from the 8,1 megawatt power plant will be exported and sold to the public supply network. Panama is currently importing a vast majority of its electricity as after-effects of a severe breakdown of a major Panamanian power plant a few years ago. This has made the price of electricity increase.
This is the second time in only a few years that Semco Maritime builds a biogas fuelled power plant in Latin America. In 2011 the company delivered a similar plant to a landfill in the city El Nejapa in El Salvador, and the two plants have made Semco Maritime a front-runner in the market. Up to now only very few plants of this type have been built in Latin America which surprises Senior Vice President Kenneth Jørgensen, Semco Maritime: “We see a great, unutilized potential for this kind of plant. There are many well-suited landfills in the region and the payback time for this type of plant is very attractive to many investors”, says Kenneth Jørgensen. He also highlights the environmental side benefit of using this very aggressive greenhouse gas methane to produce electricity instead of letting the methane drift into the atmosphere.
The construction of the Cerro Patacon power plant has just begun. When the project peaks Kenneth Jørgensen expects that approx. 100 people will be engaged in the construction, which include installation of 3 Jenbacher motors at each 2,7 MW and supplied by Clark Energy in Marseilles. The plant will be ready in March 2016.