EnviTec Biogas’ start to the fiscal year 2009 went according to plan. After the difficult year 2008, which was marked by the discussion about the amendment of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the company wants to grow both sales and EBIT again in 2009. Sales are projected to rise to EUR 150 million to EUR 200 million in 2009.

The decline is mostly attributable to higher personnel costs due to increased headcounts as well as the expansion of the international marketing. New staff was hired with a view to reach the sales target. At the end of March, EnviTec employed 352 people, 97 more than in the previous year.

“The first three months are usually the weakest for weather-related reasons. In addition, there were also arising delays in sanctions and funding. However, sales and earnings will pick up sharply as the year goes on,” Jorg Fischer, CFO of EnviTec Biogas. The high order backlog forms the basis for a successful year; at the end of March, the company had orders worth EUR 167.5 million on hand. “Also, we are currently in promising talks about new large-scale projects and framework agreements in Germany and especially abroad.

The value chain for the operators of both small and large plants must be extended with a view to tapping additional sources of income. In the first quarter, EnviTec Biogas made an important strategic step towards this goal by taking over A3 and its sister company, MMF. The two technology companies have extensive expertise in the processing of fermentation residues from the production of biogas and wastewater treatment technology, thus complementing the products and services provided by the “EnviTec Filtration” unit so far.

The companies will joint refine this technology, which also represents an important investment incentive for plant operators. Especially in livestock-intensive regions and co-fermentation processes, it is difficult to find fields for certified fertiliser spreading as an outlet for the fermentation residues. Once processed, the fermentation residue has a high nutrient content, making it an excellent natural fertiliser. It is also very easy to transport, which clearly increases its marketing opportunities. What is more, in Germany the processing of fermentation residues may be counted towards the CHP bonus and can therefore help to improve the profitability of a biogas plant considerably.