Arti Kormemeti, responsible for the construction of BE Saramzalino: With biogas plants we can solve organic waste and get electricity
Only by investing in wind, hydro, solar and biogas power plants will stable electricity production be obtained in order to avoid energy imbalance problems and as a consequence – higher electricity prices
The biogas power plant will produce electricity, but also natural fertilizer for farmers Saramzalino in Municipality of Lozovo, which is expected to start working by the end of the year. Apart from the fact that the plant is a positive example of obtaining energy, the company "Feroinvest" is proud to say that the project is entrusted to young people who are successfully building their careers in this country.
Arti Qormemeti is a mechanical engineer at "Feroinvest", who says that his work is a daily challenge and that he hopes that BE Saramzalino will be only the first of his challenges in the engineering sphere in Macedonia.
SP: You are responsible for the Saramzalino biogas power plant. When can we expect its launch, how much installed capacity does it have and how many households can it serve?
Arti Qormemeti - At this moment, together with fellow engineers and technicians from "Feroinvest" and EMS (Energy Maintenance Solutions), we are in the commissioning phase of the Saramzalino biogas power plant. It is a complicated and long process of starting up the biological process of the power plant and we hope to have full production before the end of the year. BE Saramzalino has an electrical capacity of 2 MW, which can serve about 3.000 average households. Apart from electricity, the by-product of the process is about 30.000 tons of natural fertilizer that can be used in agriculture in the region of Ovche Pole and beyond. 2.1 MW of thermal energy is also obtained, which we plan to use in the future for agricultural purposes in the vicinity of the power plant. BE Saramzalino is a large complex of facilities, which we hope will be a success story in the energy and agricultural sector in Macedonia. The facility is the result of many years of work by a large number of people at "Feroinvest" and it is an honor for me to be part of the team that is building such an important facility, with all our engineering and work capacities.
SP: What advantages do biogas plants offer?
Arti Qormemeti - Biogas plants are based on completely natural biological processes for breaking down organic waste, with the aim of obtaining thermal and electrical energy. The whole process takes place in closed circles. Part of the thermal energy is used for the biological process, while the by-product of all the decomposed material is liquid and dry natural fertilizer, which is very nutritious for agricultural areas. In addition to producing stable electricity, we also process all kinds of organic waste, which would otherwise decompose in open landfills or end up in our rivers. Biogas power plants are an excellent way of dealing with organic waste of any kind, regardless of whether it is of municipal, agricultural or industrial origin. Biogas power plants in Western European countries such as Germany, France and Great Britain completely deal with organic waste. "Feroinvest" is building BE Saramzalino, which will be able to handle up to 40.000 tons of organic waste per year.
SP: How do you see the future of alternative energy sources and what are the prerequisites for their development in Macedonia?
Arti Qormemeti - Alternative and renewable energy sources are the only way not only to a cleaner and healthier environment without fossil fuels, but are also imperative for a more reliable energy future for our small country. I think there is a lot of space, but also a huge potential for greater encouragement of state and private investments in renewable sources, with a special emphasis on household investments for the production of clean energy and for improving the energy efficiency of our homes. The state must keep up with businesses to ensure better administrative and financial conditions for investments, especially in today's energy crisis. What's important at this point, in my opinion, is for the state to have a long-term strategy for integrating renewables into our energy grid, so that it can invest wisely in multiple types of renewables, not just one. Only by investing in wind, hydro, solar and biogas power plants will stable electricity production be obtained to avoid energy imbalance problems and as a consequence – higher electricity prices. Institutions have an obligation to direct investment where it is needed in the long term, not just where the market dictates.
SP: In 2016, as a student at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Skopje, you won the Engineering Ring, the most prestigious engineering award in Macedonia. Unfortunately, successful students soon leave the country. Are you satisfied with the career you are building here?
Arti Qormemeti - I think that the moral obligation of state institutions, private companies, and all of us is to provide conditions for good students to stay and build careers here. We should all value them for what they are and hope that they will choose to work and live here more and more. Private companies especially need to believe and invest in those young people so that they can give back not only to them, but also to the whole community. I am privileged to work in the "Feroinvest" group, a company that knows how to recognize and value young engineers. My work here is a daily challenge, where I learn new things from many areas at every step and that is something that fulfills me. I want to always be out of my comfort zone, always be dissatisfied with my knowledge and abilities, and progress gradually but surely. I hope that BE Saramzalino will be only the first of my challenges in the engineering sphere in Macedonia.