22. February 2023

Economics Minister Aiwanger commissions new biogas co-generation plant

The raw material is supplied by a biogas plant in the region. There, valuable biogas is produced from slurry and manure, which is now used in a new combined heat and power plant at Memmingen Airport, saving both fossil fuels and CO2. Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs – Hubert Aiwanger – officially opened the new facility today (22 February), which represents an important milestone on the road to creating a climate-neutral airport.Green Airport Memmingen is the name of the project, with the ambitious goal of making Memmingen Airport climate-neutral by 2030. Airport Energie Management GmbH, a subsidiary of Flughafen Memmingen GmbH and e-con AG, was founded for this purpose in 2017. The new combined heat and power plant – a highlight of the “Green Airport Memmingen” concept – is now directly connected to the Bitzer biogas plant in nearby Hawangen via a five-kilometre-long pipeline, and is used to generate both electricity and heat. “The new, combined heat and power plant with locally produced biogas fuses energy production and consumption on the domestic energy market,” explained Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Hubert Aiwanger on site. “This creates a win-win situation for everyone involved – including the environment and climate.” The success story that is Memmingen Airport is thus charting a course towards a sustainable energy future: Aiwanger: “I therefore expressly welcome the fact that Allgäu Airport is planning these efforts in such an exemplary manner when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability, and continues to implement its policies so courageously. The airport is thus set to realise the tremendous potential that both airports and flying hold for the future.”Andreas Müller, Managing Director of Airport Energiemanagement GmbH, explained: “The new plant saves roughly 650,000 cubic metres of natural gas or heating oil per year and also reduces the airport’s CO2 emissions by around 1,600 tonnes per year.” The combined heat and power plant is operated flexibly and only generates electricity when it is needed. The heat generated is always fed completely into the district heating network or into the buffer storage tanks with a volume of 300,000 litres. In addition to the airport buildings, the district heating network supplies almost all neighbouring industrial and commercial enterprises with regional heat generated from renewable sources, including the Zweckverband Interkommunaler Gewerbepark Flughafen Süd Benningen/Hawangen to the south. Thanks to the modular and flexible structure of the heat supply system and the network’s dimensioning, it will be possible to supply even more connected users with environmentally friendly heat in the future. The concept and planning were executed by the energy supply specialists e-con in Memmingen, while the realisation was carried out by the company Alois Müller. “The biogas is converted into electricity here as everywhere else, but in contrast to the decentralised biogas plants, the heat can be used almost completely in the grid! This achieves a very high level of efficiency on balance,” explained Peter Waizenegger, CEO of e-con AG.For Airport Managing Director, Ralf Schmid, who is also a member of the management board of Airport Energiemanagement GmbH, the new facility represents another important step on the way to a climate-neutral airport. “It is an ambitious goal that we want to achieve as the first German commercial airport by 2030,” he emphasised. “It can be done.” However, it is not just the airport’s operation that should be climate-neutral. “Together with our fuel supplier AirBP, we want to offer our customers climate-neutral fuels, so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), so that they are able to fly climate-neutrally from Memmingen,” explained Schmid. Going forward, another climate-neutral fuel is to be offered in the form of hydrogen. Economics Minister Aiwanger also emphasised that hydrogen could play a major role in the long term. A public hydrogen refuelling station for commercial vehicles and cars is already planned for 2024. This was one of the reasons why Airport Energiemanagement GmbH was accepted into the “Bavarian Hydrogen Alliance” (Wasserstoffbündnis Bayern) last year. It was launched by Minister of Economic Affairs Aiwanger in 2019 to consolidate (and expand on) the strong position enjoyed by Bavarian industry and science in the field of hydrogen, a resource set to play a major role in tomorrow’s world. Information on the energy centre and district heating network:

  • Planning: e-con TGA Ingenieure GmbH
  • Start of construction: June 2022
  • Raw biogas CHP: 1,500 kW (electrical) and 1,700 kW (thermal)
  • Buffer tank: 300,000 litres
  • Heat generation: approx. 14,000 MWh/year
  • Length of district heating network: approx. 7 km
  • Water content within the network: approx. 200,000 litres
  • Savings of 1,600 tonnes of CO2/year
  • Substitution of 650,000 cubic metres of natural gas/year
  • Substitution of 650,000 litres of heating oil/year

The new combined heat and power plant was commissioned by Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger (right). Our picture shows him with (from left) Airport Managing Director, Ralf Schmid, Unterallgäu District Administrator, Alex Eder, Health Minister Klaus Holetschek, Andreas Müller, Managing Director of Airport Energiemanagement GmbH, and State Parliament Vice President, Alexander Hold.

© 2024 Flughafen Memmingen GmbH