Sustainable energy group Ener-G is looking at eastern Europe as a key area for business expansion following the award of three contracts for landfill gas fuelled power plants in Hungary.

The UK-based company says it is reviewing a number of other sites in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, and that it could develop Budapest as a major operational hub for the region.

The three latest contracts are the first that Ener-G has received from Hungary. It will develop power plants at two landfill sites owned by an Austrian waste management company and one at a landfill site operated by a local authority south west of Budapest.

“These contracts were awarded after competitive tendering with other European companies back August and September 2007,” said Hugh Richmond, managing director of Ener-G Natural Power Ltd. “We were delighted to enter a country where we had never worked before, convince them of our ability, fight off the competition and have signed contracts in less than 12 months: we see that as a major achievement.”

The contracts will be delivered by Ener-G Natural Power in partnership with Hungary-based Ener-G Energia Technológia Zrt, which Ener-G plc acquired in 2006.

The operations will involve one Caterpillar 1150 kW generator at the largest site and a combination of Perkins 400 kW and 500 kW generators at the two other smaller ones. Biogas Technology Limited, a sister company of Ener-G, will also supply equipment in the form of suction pumps and flares as part of the project.

The project will involve drilling holes into the landfill waste mass, inserting pipes and extracting the gas for use in the spark-ignition engines. More than £2.6 million will be invested in operations at the three sites, which will have a combined electrical capacity of 2.65 MW.

“From what we have seen during the last 15 months of visiting potential sites in Hungary, the operators of the landfills do not manage the infilling of waste in such a way as easily facilitates gas collection,” said Richmond. “We are looking forward to working with the Hungarian landfill operators to introduce methods which are conducive to gas collection and create mutual benefits not only for power generation but for the environment in Hungary.”