Interview with Luca Belluco
Azienda Agricola Belluco Mauro & Gabriele
Luckily that time…
It is his second biogas plant. Time to complete the necessary papers and soon he will begin construction together with IES BIOGAS. He set up the first one about twenty months ago, at his farm in Bovolenta, in the province of Padua. Indisputable evidence that biogas, for him, is an extraordinary and now essential investment. Luca Belluco does not hide his satisfaction, but also a sincere gratitude, for what he calls a turning point in life.
How did it occur to you to install a biogas plant?
The first time I heard of biogas was when I went to Germany with my cousin Matteo, to a trade fair. There I understood nothing, maybe because they were German and it seemed a complicated and distant thing. Then I met Marco Mazzero, one of the owners of IES BIOGAS.
And what happened?
His words were sincere, I am grateful I met him.
And so you set up your first plant…
The first plant goes back to a year and a half ago, and has 526 kWe. It is made up of two fermentors and one post-fermentor. After the initial startup, it has never stopped for a second.
I repeat, it is a year and a half that it has been running without stopping. After the adjustment period, it has virtually given back 100% … 99.7% if we want to be picky. I recommend it to everyone.
What did you use to do before you had the biogas plant?
First we stored the manure along with all the waste in some tubs. Then twice a year we scattered it on the fields.
So now you have given up on fertilizing naturally?
No giving up because now we use the biogas production process residue (the digestate), which is a far better fertilizer than pure manure.
How much time does the plant management take you?
Half an hour per day, the time it takes to feed it. The same time it took me before to store the manure. I have turned into productive the time which was thrown away before. And I collect everything, don’t even leave one gram: it’s money.
Only benefits then?
The nice thing about biogas is that I only took steps forward.
Those living around your farm, how did they take it?
I invited people to see it with their own eyes. When you explain and show things, everyone understands. Eventually all have confirmed that there is much less smell and that generally more hygiene is perceived, everything is cleaner, even in the farm. They have thanked me. The environment is much improved.
Quickly describe your farm.
It is in Bovolenta, in the province of Padua. We breed 1,500 heads of cattle. We are growing. Soon we will build new stables, and consequently, a new 300 kW plant.
Will there be any difference in the new plant?
It will just be smaller than the first. Also I will use the heat for heating several rooms. We are finalizing the paperwork.
Will it be an IES BIOGAS plant again?
Of course. Look, I always thank them. Other farmers I know and that have installed other plants complain of this and that … there are those who say I can’t take it anymore, who say “I have to turn off the phone at night because the alarms are always going off”.
When they ask me I say that these words sound like Arabic to me. With IES I never had any problems; it’s been a year and a half that the plant is running and is producing income. Really, I recommend it. Luckily that time I listened to them, write that down.