PlanET (pronounced “plan-e-t”) Biogas Solutions is a full turnkey biogas solutions provider specializing in design, construction, service, and financing. Located in St. Catharines Ontario, PlanET was incorporated in 2006 and is a wholly owned subsidiary for PlanET Biogas Group GmbH, based in Vreden, Germany. PlanET Biogas Group GmbH has been around since 1998 and ranks among the leading biogas plant builders in Europe and Germany, and has designed, constructed and serviced over 400 anaerobic digestion systems worldwide.
PlanET Biogas Solutions has designed and constructed fifteen anaerobic digester facilities throughout North America. Their most recent projects span across the country and include a digester expansion at the Greenholm Farms facility in Ontario, a hydrolysis system installation at Lethbridge Biogas in Alberta, and a new 500 kW facility in Nova Scotia.
The facility in Nova Scotia is the premiere application of PlanET’s new patented steel tank digester into the North American market which was designed and developed in-house. This new steel tank concept utilizes cathodic dipped plates and an interior polypropylene liner to offer best in class corrosion resistance and durability while eliminating the need to cover or seal bolts or seams. Constructed commenced during harsh Nova Scotia winter weather and despite these challenging conditions, the tank construction was completed on schedule without incident.
The revolutionary approach taken at the Lethbridge facility sets a new standard for treatment of animal carcass processing and will provide renewable electricity and land applicable fertilizer which is void of harmful pathogens. Utilizing the patented BioRefinex thermal hydrolysis technology, operating under license from Biosphere Technologies Inc., the PlanET facility treats waste animal by-product materials at 180 C and 10.5 bar high-pressure in 40 minute batches. The CFIA-approved process creates sterilized organic nutrients for biogas production, and the residual thermal energy from the hydrolysis process is partly used to supply the digesters with heat.
As a complete turnkey solutions provider, PlanET is one of the few direct original equipment manufacturers remaining in the market. With their own line of time-tested proven technology, PlanET offers a full suite of services directly to clients which includes design, material supply, construction, service and operations support. With an organization of 200 people worldwide, PlanET focuses exclusively on biogas development around the globe. In Canada, PlanET offers services directly to its clients utilizing a team comprised of local staff members along with expertise from the global team. This approach allows PlanET to routinely introduce new technologies and global best practices to the market while providing excellent service and implementation of projects at the local level.
Derek Hundert, General Manager of PlanET Biogas Solutions, started with the company in 2012. In his 5 years with PlanET he’s seen a lot of development in the company and in the biogas space. During his tenure, Hundert has prioritized increasing deployment of technology to customers, improved execution and streamlining of procurement and construction practices, integrating a financing component, and improving the service offering from the company.
On his outlook for the biogas industry, Hundert shares that “The interesting thing is that we are starting to see policy change here in Canada and globally with a push to work towards a common goal of growing the economy while combatting climate change. There is a shift within consumers and voters to make a stronger emphasis on meeting our GHG targets and voicing that governments should be doing more to implement GHG reduction technologies.” Hundert adds that it remains to be seen just how large of a role biogas will take in the new low-carbon economy, but feels the future is bright if today’s public will can be translated into meaningful government action.
PlanET has held membership with the Canadian Biogas Association (CBA) since 2010. They uphold their membership because they believe in the power of member associations as a bipartisan voice and want to support the growth of the industry. Hundert adds “We firmly believe that biogas has a place in Canada’s renewable energy mix, but the industry needs more viable projects and business models to grow. It will take the work of dedicated industry associations such as the CBA to make this happen.”