In marts 2012, the Danish parliaments settlement parties, made a new energy agreement. This agreement is providing better economic opportunities for the bioenergy industry, both to establish and to run biogas plants. The number of plants is therefore expected to increase in the coming years. With a lot of new plants, a lot of new labor will be needed. For this, the technical management and marine engineer is the obvious choice, with all their knowledge on mechanical installations. But he hasn’t got any skills concerning the issue about production of biogas. Which competencies does he need, to increase his qualifications for the job as operator on a biogas plant?
To investigate this, the first step was to interview three persons, from three different parts of the industry. These three persons had some different opinions on what competencies a newly educated technical management and marine engineer needs. By comparing these three statements, first with each other, and then with the competencies a technical management and marine engineer already possesses, the competencies that is needed in general, will appear.
Before the subjects, in which the needed competencies can be provided, are found, it is necessary to determine what kind of operator this assignment aim at. This is done, by looking at the different needs on the different types of biogas plants. A big plant is demanding one type, while the smaller plants are demanding another type of operator. It is the last type, that is assessed to be the best suited for this assignment.
The subjects can now be chosen. First of all, the operator of a biogas plant, should know, how the biological processes is turning proteins, hydrates and fat into a flammable gas. Including how to provide the optimal conditions for the bacterial groups, to perform this process. This also includes biogas plant operation and construction. Secondly there is the economical aspect. For the operator to understand this, he needs to be aware of all the benefits concerning biogas production. Not only the flammable gas is of value, but reducing the emitted CO2-equivalents is also of value for the society and the residue is of value for the farmer. The economical aspect also involves the transportation of liquid manure. These costs can be reduced, by carefully planning the routes of the trucks that transport the liquid manure.