2022-03-15 17:53:33

Oguzeli Central Biogas Power Plant

Gaziantep is the sixth-largest city in Türkiye, with a population of 2.1 million and an active agricultural sector. The traditional practice of treating animal faeces is to leave them in the wild or use them as fertilisers without processing them first. This was unpleasant to both eye and nose in the sense of the living environment. Moreover, it was damaging to the natural environment: it contaminated the soil and groundwater in addition to emitting a considerable amount of greenhouse gases – methane and carbon dioxide in this case.

This changed with the advent of the Oguzeli Central Biogas Power Plant, the country’s first such plant established by a municipality. The move was in line with Türkiye’s effort to boost energy self-sufficiency and its desire to join the European Union, as an EU directive prohibits the delivery of organic waste to landfills. The project received a grant from a national programme, which covered more than half of the investment cost. The remaining cost was funded by the city.

For such a trash-to-treasure initiative, the supply of “trash” is crucial. The city has signed agreements with nine compatible animal farms, enabling a steady supply of cattle and chicken manure. Under the framework of the zero-waste project, the city gets additional supplies from bazaars and vegetable markets. The plant runs non-stop and disposes of 250 tons of animal waste on average every day. This translates to the daily generation of 1.8-2 megawatt-hours of electricity and 6.2 gigawatt-hours annually. It has also prevented the emission of 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide, among others.

The initiative has turned out beneficial to the agricultural sector as well, as the plant turns the waste into fertilisers in addition to electricity. Solid fertilisers produced are sold to the local farmers at more affordable prices, while liquid fertilisers, with their environmental advantages, are distributed free of charge.

With the success of this plant, the city has invested in a biogas plant in another district. This initiative represents the city’s effort to transition to clean energy, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and protect its soil and water resources. It is highly relevant to SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action), and 15 (life on land).