Cambodia National Biodigester Programme

  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health
  • 7. Affordable Clean Energy
  • 8. Work + Economic Growth
  • 13. Climate Action

The National Biodigester Programme (NBP) is a joint development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Dutch Development Organization (SNV). The project aims to use funding from the private sector to create a permanent national domestic biodigester sector for the dissemination of high quality household biodigesters that provide a clean, indigenous and sustainable energy source for cooking and lighting. The project also provides additional benefits with the bio-slurry providing a great means for fertilizing and improving local agricultural production.

The domestic biodigester disseminated is the Farmer’s Friend biodigester, a fixed dome digester, which has a lifespan of over 20 years. The smallest and most popular digester on the market, sized 4 m3, can treat the waste from 2-3 bovines or 4-6 pigs and costs around $500 excluding an investment subsidy of $150.

In the period March 2006 to December 2016 over 24,000 biodigesters were constructed through 69 micro-enterprises in 15 provinces. The Programme became registered retroactively in 2009 as the first large-scale biogas project by Gold Standard with support of HIVOS. The project has received five issuances of GS-VERs and it is anticipated that carbon finance will cover the sector development costs in the future.

What makes the Programme unique?

  • An important success factor is the special biogas loan that is made available through three nationally operating micro-finance institutions.  Over 70% of the households take up this loan to finance their biodigester and in general pay back this loan within 2 years.
  • The Programme works with a market-based model and has the intention to develop the sector in such a way that it can run without direct involvement of the Programme. The private sector development arm of NBP is therefore establishing independent enterprises in rural areas and building the capacity of those enterprises on marketing and promotion, internal quality control and after sales services.

Project impacts and benefits:

Livelihood and health improvement:

  • 25.000 biodigesters constructed from March 2006 to August 2016 / 122.500 direct beneficiaries
  • 90% of constructed biodigesters still operational; i.e. 21,760 smoke-free kitchens (February 2016)
  • Biogas kitchen air pollution reduced with 88% (Particulate Matter 2.5). 
  • 29,5 averted deaths and 1,442 averted Disability Adjusted Life Years (ADALYs) realized from 2006 to 2014 with projection of 51 averted deaths and 2,519 ADALYs up to 2020
  • 2,886 biodigester connected toilets
  • 120 USD saving in expenditures on fuelwood and chemical fertilizer per household per year
  • Employment creation
  • 69 active private enterprises consolidated
  • 604 trained masons; of whom 185 active
  • 162 trained supervisors

Environmental benefits:

  • On average 4,9 tCO2 reduced per digester per year
  • 457,791 tCO2 reduced between May 2009 and December 2015
  • 173,900 tonnes of wood saved
“Previously I mixed cow manure with chemical fertilizers, but my crop yield remained low. With the biodigester however, the bio-slurry has improved the soil fertility and my crop yields are much better now, and in addition, biogas has reduced the cost of cooking too!”
Chhim Dy, Biogas owner