EDAR de Bens, SA, a client for which Cadagua operates several of its facilities, including the WWTP itself, inaugurated the new facilities of the Mixed Research Unit (MRU) of renewable gas on October 22, 2018. These facilities will produce biomethane, a renewable fuel gas useable for vehicular mobility, from the digestion of sludge in wastewater treatment. The event was attended by the Minister of Economy, Employment and Industry of Galicia, Francisco Conde López, Mayor of A Coruña, Xulio Ferreiro and the Director of the Metropolitan Public Company, Carlos Lamora. On behalf of CADAGUA S.A., current contractor of the operation and maintenance contract of the Bens WWTP, the attendees were the Production Director, Julio Llorente, the O&M Manager of the North Zone, Alberto Martín, and the Service Manager, Fco. Javier Martínez. Municipal representatives of the other municipalities that form the public company EDAR Bens S.A. were also present. The project is financed by Naturgy, EnergyLab and the Xunta de Galicia through Gain (Axencia Galega de Innovación), and involves an investment of more than €2 million.
The inaugurated facilities are part of the first project in Spain that uses membrane technology to upgrade the biogas generated in a WWTP. Within this pioneering project, there is a second phase in which a pilot experimental installation for biological methanation will be built. It will be a pioneer project at the national level, and one of the few in Europe, which will take advantage of the rejected CO2 (off-gas) from the upgrading by combining it with hydrogen, and thereby converting it into methane. Additionally, in the second phase of the project, the intention is to make a connection with the existing natural gas network in order to inject the biomethane so that it can be used in points of consumption far from production. The potential renewable gas produced in the Bens WWTP, once injected into the grid, would meet the energy needs of 2,800 homes, generate fuel for a fleet of 3,000 cars or 60 urban buses.
In this first phase, the gas produced will cover the needs of the vehicle fleet of Bens WWTP, (where Cadagua integrates gas vehicles), an urban bus that will serve the metropolitan area of La Coruña, as well as the van of the Association of Mulleres Colleiteiras, a social integration project with which EDAR Bens SA will be collaborating in.
It is therefore a circular economy R&D&i project that will contribute to the fight against climate change, saving the consumption of fossil fuels and therefore CO2 emissions, in which CADAGUA S.A. acts as the operator of the Wastewater Treatment Plant.