Money-saving biogas

SA Alternative Energy Association | 02 June 2013

With the number of people in Africa’s urban centres expected to grow rapidly in the next few decades, municipal waste and its disposal could pose a variety of logistical and public health challenges. Now, researchers at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, are examining how to convert organic waste into biogas, which would alleviate disposal problems and help poor residents, particularly those in informal settlements, save on energy costs.

The number of people living of Cape Town is expected to grow almost 60 percent in the next three decades, according to a projection by the city. Meanwhile, energy prices, including the cost of electricity, have gone up at least 50 percent in the last four years.
Continue reading

Construction on Bronkhorstspruit biogas plant to start in June

Idéle Esterhuizen | 16 Apr 2013 | Engineering News

Construction on the Bronkhorstspruit Biogas Plant (BBP) would start in June and be completed in the first quarter of next year, the project developer Bio 2 Watt says.

Founder Sean Thomas told Engineering News Online that the project, with an initial installed capacity of 3 MW, would reach financial close by the end of May and eventually ramp up to a 5 MW capacity.

He explained that the plant would make use of technology supplied by Danish company ComBigaS to generate energy through anaerobic digestion. Cattle manure will be the primary feedstock of the plant, with the rest consisting essentially of food waste.

Further, consulting engineering company Bosch Projects would provide engineering support for the project.

Thomas noted that the plant would be connected to State utility Eskom’s grid and the power sold to a large industrial offtaker in Pretoria.

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) this week cancelled the public hearing on the project’s generation licence application, which was scheduled to take place on April 16.

This came as Nersa had received no comments or objections to the project and no members of the public had registered to present or attend the public hearing.

In October 2011, Bio 2 Watt submitted a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) carbon credit project description of BBP to the South African carbon credit authority, Designated National Authority (DNA) within the Department of Energy.

The following month, the DNA provided Bio 2 Watt with a letter of no objection, stating the project does not show conflict with the sustainability development criteria for CDM carbon credit projects.


Biofuel firms’ perseverence set to pay off

M&G | 05 Apr 2013 | Teigue Payne

The projects, which will usher in the first large-scale production of bioethanol in South Africa after many years of preparation, will follow expected government announcements of the date from which admixture of biofuels to “normal fuels” will become law, as well as the regulated prices for those biofuels.

One of the bioethanol factories will be at Bothaville in North West province, the other at Cradock in the Eastern Cape.

Also expected this year is the announcement that two large plants to produce biodiesel from canola and soya will be constructed at Coega. The canola plant is projected to cost R4.2-billion and the soya plant R2.3-billion. The canola plant will produce biodiesel initially for export to the European Union, although it is later likely to be expanded to supplying fuel to South Africa. The soya plant will be fully directed at supplying the South African fuel market.

Continue reading