Education and training in the Danish Biogas business

The Danish biogas business is facing a huge development in both existing and new plants. This is causing a growing demand for new employees and upgrading of existing employees. Danish Technology Centre for Biogas was created among other reasons to address this growing challenge in 2014.  Since then, Danish Technology Centre for Biogas has developed courses, training sessions and is now launching an ordinary education for biogas workers. All this has been done with support of the Biogas Action project.

New development

In the beginning of 2014, the biogas business began to talk about a growing demand for skilled workers since the framework conditions for biogas was improved due to an energy agreement in the Danish parliament. The Danish biogas business was characterised by few big biogas plants with few skilled and self-taught workers. There were only few courses and networks between the plants operating – a more focused plan for education was not available due to lack of resources in the entire business. Resources has improved after the energy agreement and hence the Danish Technology Centre for Biogas was created.

Existing workers: Training and courses

Danish Technology Centre for Biogas had to start from the beginning. The first thing done by Danish Technology Centre for Biogas was to ask the plants what they wanted and how we could develop courses and training. Thee biogas plants were facing different challengers, such as how to maintain pump systems, gas security, the micro biology in the digesters and so on. The plants knew what they wanted, but the next challenge was that there were no textbooks at all on daily operation, since it never had been ask for and therefore never been developed. Thus, it was unknown area for the educational institutions. This created an unforeseen challenge, so we had to talk to a lot of people from the business and meet the workers at the plants in order to create courses and training. The result has been courses where we focus on both theory and practical knowledge.

New workers – new education possibilities

In order to address the growing demand for new workers and upgrading of skills among existing workers, Danish Technology Centre Biogas has also been working within the ordinary educational system, to create an education that fits the requirements at a biogas plant. This has led into cooperation with a vocational college, that has been training and educating offshore industries (especially oil), waste industries and other process industries for years. A biogas plant is an industry that in many ways can be compared to waste management plants, chemical industries and other process industries. Since we don’t have time and especially resources to develop a totally new biogas education we must build on other experiences. That’s why we started to look at a processor operator education. Combined with specialized biogas topics, we have now developed a process operator education for biogas.

After 4½ year of education (combined school and practice), the process operator is able to maintain the production process, so that the production targets are fulfilled, ensuring the right quality of the products. The educated process operator has a proper understanding of the production processes projects and is able to ensure complete maintenance of the technology. The education contains of 4 areas: SRO (Industrial Control Systems), the process (energy, environment, cleaning, etc.), equipment (pumps, pipes, etc.), you and the system (personal development, teamwork etc.). The education has specialized topics (up to 7 weeks of school time).

The future for biogas education and training

The launching of the process operator education has led in to development of specialized topics. These topics will also be put up as single training subject, that can be offered to the rest of the business and also also integrated into other educations. This is only the beginning and hopefully will lead to a more professionalized biogas business in the future.

 

Training & Education – introductory presentation

Training Example – Board Course for Danish Biogas Plants

Training Example – 2-day Course in Pump Engineering and Maintenance Technology for Biogas Plants

For further information contact Jakob Lorenzen, Danish Technology Centre for Biogas, jl@dffb.dk  

Danish Technology Centre for Biogas is an association focusing on developing competences and skills among the biogas sector in Denmark. It is financed among others by the project BiogasAction.