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8000 sows and 2 cows

By Knud Tybirk, Agro Business Park

Benny is clapping one of his ’cows’. It is green, shiny and very noisy. It is called ‘Jenbacher’ and his two ‘cows’ convert slurry from 8000 sows with some added maize into heat and electricity as part of one of the biogas plants at Poldanor in Poland.

Benny Laursen is a Danish farmer from Mid West Jutland by origin, but has lived in Poland for 15 years and has become ‘Polish’. Benny has taken his common sense, entrepreneurship, his eagerness and creativity along to Poland. Here he found more room for his ideas. He is the man who developed biogas into a growing business at Poldanor – resulting in a much better environmental balance for the pig production as well.


Benny’s two ‘cows’ are located at the biogas plant and swine farm in Koczala with 8000 sows. He proudly presented the biogas plant for a group of Danish/Polish/German/ Swedish researchers, consultants, etc. in October 2010. 5-6 years ago this farm was wrongly and heavily media exposed in Denmark with open slurry lagoons at the size of a soccer pitch. This resulted in quite a negative PR for the growing investment of Danish farmers in pig production in Poland. Today it is a different story.

The biogas plant in Koczala was a new step in the development of slurry based biogas in Poland and is well respected in the Ministry of Agriculture and in the bioenergy institutions in Warzaw and Gdansk we visited. Since then other two biogas plants have been inaugurated, and Poldanor has an ambitious investment plan for biogas in the future.


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