2 Mar 2012

More piggery biogas systems tipped

12:47 pm on 2 March 2012

NIWA expects more piggery owners to invest in a new biogas system which converts effluent to energy over the next few years.

Scientists have developed a system which stores greenhouse gases from pig manure in a deep pond, from where it can be used as an energy source.

A piggery in Taranaki was the first to implement the system about a year ago.

When fully commissioned, it's expected to save the farm more than $65,000 per year in electricity costs, as well as reducing the smell of effluent.

Only four piggery owners have since implemented the scheme.

NIWA demonstrated the technology at the Waikato effluent expo at the Mystery Creek events centre on Tuesday

Scientist Stephan Heubeck says the current focus on on-farm effluent disposal will drive more piggery owners to invest in the technology over the next few years.

Effluent system design accreditation.

Meanwhile, dairy farmers looking to upgrade their effluent systems can now check if their supplier is industry accreditated.

The scheme has been set up by Irrigation New Zealand, DairyNZ and the Milking & Pumping Trades Association, to help farmers choose the right systems for their farms.

A growing number of new effluent storage ponds are being built on dairy farms, following a crackdown by regional councils.

The first four companies to make the grade are AgFirst, Opus International Consultants, WaterForce and Hi-Tech Enviro solutions.

Irrigation New Zealand says among other things, the companies must show they understand current regulations, nutrient management and soil and climate conditions.