Pilot Biogas Project from China Put to Use

Press Release #0409-19
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
Story supplied by China Embassy in Pohnpei
April 14, 2009

On April 4, a biogas stove was installed into the Kitchen of OWHA Christian High School in Madolenihnw and started to use the biogas generated from a digester located in the school’s piggery. It is used to replace the kerosene stove to cook for more than 30 staff members and students, therefore reduce the cost of power. This is one of four designated sites of the pilot biogas project funded by the sister-state of Pohnpei, Zhejing province in China. The project consists of four household biogas packages including digester and stove, two of them will be located in Pohnpei state and the others in Chuuk.  It is one of the great outcomes of President Mori and Governor Esha’s successful visits to China in 2007 and 2008.  This is the first example of using biogas in the FSM and now there is hope that biogas will  play a leading role on developing renewable energy and sustainable development, improving people's living standard and  protecting the environment.

The biogas technicians from Zhejiang Province made full use of the local materials and completed the construction of the digester in OWHA high school in two weeks with substantial support from the Pohnpei State Government. Currently, they are working on the second site for Pohnpei in Kitti for a traditional house. They will go to Chuuk at the end of April and start the next project there. The whole project is expected to be completed in June, 2009. The technicians will organize workshops in each state to help the local users to understand and master the skills and techniques required to build and use biogas equipment.

Biogas is a methane-rich flammable gas that results from the decomposition of organic waste material (such as pig waste). It can be directly used for cooking, heating and lighting. After fermentation, the recycled water and the remaining solid can be used for fertilizer. This technique is quite mature and has wide application all over China. Currently there are 18 million biogas digesters in China and benefit 60 million people in rural areas. The FSM, located in a tropical area with abundant organic material and scattered piggeries, has a huge potential to develop and promote the use of biogas.

Developing renewable energy such as the Biogas technique into the FSM will mean a lot in terms of reducing reliance on imported and expensive oil fuel to the FSM, and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fuel consumption. In recent years, sea level rising caused by the greenhouse effect of global warming has become a serious threat to the survival of the FSM and other island countries. The introduction and promotion of renewable energy such as biogas by the Chinese government will be helpful to improve the people's living standard in the FSM and provide a best model to cope with climate change.