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Kompogas Organic Recycling Plant Opens

On November 15, 2018, North America’s first Kompogas® plant was opened in San Luis Obispo that converts organics into energy, and dry and liquid solid amendments.

The dry anaerobic digestion plant marks the first DBFOO (design, build, finance, own, operate) project for Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) and contributes significantly to California’s sustainability strategy. Governmental representatives were present as well as delegates of the investor and operational companies.

The opening ceremony was a great success. Around 130 representatives from various business areas and countries where present. Attendees spanned from Michi Kuwahara, Chairman of the Board at Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI), officials from the Parent company HZC, dignitaries, repre sentatives from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), MUFG Bank, Ltd., Waste Connections and The Chairman of the American Biogas Council.

But also members of the local city and county governments and prospective customers and other interested parties were present. In various speeches, the facility was hailed as an important milestone for HZI and the community of San Luis Obispo as well as important contributor to meeting the State of California’s Greenhouse Gas reduction and Organics Diversion mandates.

Kompogas SLO Grand Opening

Left to right: 

Sheila Blake (City of Pismo Beach Council Member), Susan VanDelinder (Waste Connections, Division Vice President), Jeff Smith (Waste Connections, District Manager),  William Skinner (Hitachi Zosen Inova, Director of Operations & Maintenance Management), Adam Hill (County of San Luis Obispo 3rd District Supervisor) , Jeff Lee (City of Grover Beach Mayor),  Aaron Gomez (City of San Luis Obispo Council Member).  Photo by Emily Ewer, Oasis Associates, Inc.

Hitachi Zosen Inova’s First Completely Owned Project

The plant can process the amount of up to 36,500 US tons of green waste and biowaste per year to generate around 2,900,000 Nm3 of biogas and ca. 20,100 US tons of high-grade compost and another 1,700 US tons of liquid fertilizer per annum.

All of the biogas will be converted into electricity, delivering a power yield of 6,200,000 kWh/a, enough to cover the annual consumption of more than 600 US households. The compost will be sold separately as high-grade fertilizer for farming and residential gardening.

"For HZI this facility marks a novelty. It is our company’s first project that is completely financed, designed and built by HZI who owns and operates the facility for the next decades. 49% of the finance was provided by JBIC, and 51% was by MUFG bank, Ltd. This is an important milestone for us. But also for the region, which will profit from the plant’s energy production while at the same time make a very important contribution to California’s Green House Gas reduction", says Michi Kuwahara, Chairman of the HZI Supervisory Board.

Contribution to Environment Targets

The 75 Percent Initiative launched by California in 2011 has created the ideal framework for the San Luis Obispo project. This initiative sets out the state’s declared goal of achieving a 75% reduction in total waste by 2020. The strategies envisaged for achieving this are recycling, composting / dry anaerobic digestion, and reducing waste at the source. One of the first steps toward achieving this is the removal of biological waste from landfill sites.

The production of the renewable fuel biogas and compost will further enable the ecologically sustainable and profitable recycling of biowaste as a raw material.


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