Organic waste recycling

ECOREON is an investment project aimed at creating a network of biogas plants to treat sludge from sewage treatment plants and agricultural organic waste.

The project envisages a phased launch of 25 biogas plants in Central Russia over the period from June 2022 to March 2027. Green Vector Capital is the anchor investor of the project.

ECOREON biogas plants will mainly produce biogas from meat processing waste due to high energy efficiency and sewage treatment plant waste (sludge) due to availability. Raw materials will mainly be supplied by regional sewage treatment plants and agricultural producers. ECOREON will also receive organic waste from Sphere of Ecology, one of Green Vector Capital’s portfolio companies providing complex waste management services for industrial enterprises and companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Market potential

According to Greenpeace data, only 3% of organic waste in Russia is recycled.

Food producers burn organic waste or dump it in landfills resorting to high CO2 emission methods. Wastewater treatment facilities are one more source of organic waste. Companies cannot fully recycle it, so they dump the sediment in sludge pits.

НA network of biogas plants is the most efficient solution to organic waste recycling and green energy generation problems.

Biogas plants can be located in any Russian region where there is enough organic raw material regardless of the availability of traditional energy facilities, utility and transport networks. If raw materials are available, building a biogas plant is a good alternative to traditional energy facilities (such as gas pipelines, boiler stations, electrical grids, and transformers).

When recycling waste, a biogas plant produces biogas (its main component is methane) and humus that is used as fertilizer. The biogas will then be used to generate electrical energy and heat. Biogas is one of the most efficient renewable energy sources. One biogas plant generates over 2.3 million kWh of green energy per month with 75% thereof directed for sale. Biogas plants also generate heat. Every biogas plant generates 1,505 Gcal/hr of thermal energy per month. In warm season, all thermal energy can be sold to consumers, such as, for instance, sewage treatment facilities or nearby greenhouse complexes.

Apart from selling electrical energy and thermal energy, ECOREON’s key way of revenue generation will be organic waste recycling. Biogas plants do not only generate green energy as other renewable energy sources do (such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, etc.), but also resolve an acute problem of organic waste disposal mitigating its negative environmental impact. For instance, building 1 MW worth of biogas plant installed capacity reduces CO2 emissions by at least 50,000 tonnes per year.

КApart from biogas, biogas plants produce solid sludge that is organic fertilizer. When treating a mixture of sludge and organic waste one biogas plant produces over 8,200 tonnes of organic fertilizer per month.

Investment appeal:

  • A stable high-margin business in the promising green energy generation sector.
  • A unique network project in the Russian market, which ensures a high level of interest from the regions and businesses.
  • An effective raw materials base: a 55/45 ratio of sludge and bio waste allows us to secure uninterrupted supply and high energy generation capacity.
  • Biogas plants are fully autonomous: they can generate power and heat required for their operation.
  • A pronounced environmental impact: resolving an acute problem of organic waste disposal and carbon footprint reduction.
  • High social importance: creating new jobs at modern technologically advanced companies in Russian regions.
  • High potential return (about 26%) for investors in green projects.

Key project figures

Sector Organic waste recycling
Target number of biogas plants 25
Total capital investments RUB 20 billion
Carbon footprint reduction by 1 biogas plant per year 160,000 tonnes
Average installed capacity of every biogas plant 3.2 MW
Electrical energy generated for sale by one biogas plant per year 21 million kWh
Annual volume of recycled raw materials by one biogas plant 108,000 tonnes