Gaia News 2010

01.02.2010

A profound nutrient leakage mitigation project launched in Lake Ladoga, Russia

Gaia participates in a concrete manure management project which aims at preventing nutrient leakage into the Lake Ladoga and controlling the nutrient load balance into the Gulf of Finland.

In this groundbreaking grassroots project, manure management improvements will be identified and concluded in the state livestock breeding farm Novoladozhsky, located on the south-eastern part of Lake Ladoga. The most feasible alternatives for manure management will be thoroughly analysed. They include measures such as modified storage capacity, composting, manure fermentation in an anaerobic digestion, and carbonising manure through pyrolysis.

 

“A modernised manure management is an access to more efficient utilisation of valuable manure nutrients as fertilizers. This makes the project attractive for farms also in economic terms. Moreover, it creates a possibility to integrate a sustainable energy solution. The project will help to combat both eutrophication and climate change”, says Jari Hiltunen, Business Director of Gaia Consulting.

 

The conclusions of the project are provided for the Novoladozhsky farm. Furthermore, established methods could be replicated in the other similar farms in the region. Several big animal farms are located in the Leningrad Region, consisting of about 100 large-scale (1000–2000 heads) cattle farms, almost 20 large-scale poultry farms and 9 large pig farms. At nearly all of these farms, acute improvements for environmentally safe manure management are needed.  

 

The total nutrient content of manure from the farms in the Leningrad Region is estimated to be annually about 20 000 tonnes for nitrogen and almost 5 000 tonnes for phosphorus – a quantity equivalent to the nutrient content of the sewage waters of whole Finland, based on per capita loading. Theoretically, this corresponds already close to the total available plough-land area for organic phosphorus fertilizers in the whole Leningrad Region. However, manure nutrients may not end at enhancing growth of crops but at eutrophicating water systems. In particular, seasonal autumn and winter spreading of manure causes nutrients' partial leakage into water courses.

 

The project is funded by the Ministry of the Environment of Finland. Gaia, in association with the consortium leader Finnish Consulting Group Ltd (FCG) and an expert team strengthened with a cattle manure management specialist and a Russian financial specialist, provides consulting services for the project. Gaia's expertise is focused especially on anaerobic digestion which provides the farm with a combined solution including additional storage capacity, nutrient management and on-site energy generation. This assignment will strengthen Gaia's position and know-how in agricultural sector in Russia as an overall sustainable solution provider.

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