Waste2Energy (WtE) or energy-from-waste (EfW) is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste.
New global technologies which has a proven growth potential lack commercial pilot plants to promote the industry on the African continent.
Major developments in Uganda now offers hope and the way forward.
Space Links Technologies has obtained approval from the Energy Regulatory Authority of Uganda (ERA) to conduct feasibility studies that will lead to securing licenses with the Energy Regulatory Authority (ERA) for the purpose of setting up an energy to waste plant and the sale of power to the National grid. Initial engagements with the municipal council indicate that all MSW in and around Jinja is by nature heterogonous, making it difficult and expensive to recycle efficiently without source sorting.
The waste collection solutions are under-developed or non-existent. Thus, the current option is mainly landfilling all the waste. Apart from the non-combustibles, all MSW fractions can be incinerated for energy making waste-to-energy power plant a viable option for both landfill and recycling. Space links has identified a great opportunity to work with Woima Finland oy, a reputable Waste 2 energy company to establish a solution to convert Waste to Energy in the City of Jinja. The company plans to incorporate skilled stake holders whose backgrounds will be in the areas of Waste management. Once we are fully operational it is our intention to start recycling the waste available in order to increase the calorific value for incineration, thus creating more power output. We are also considering bringing solutions to recycle used tyres to produce heavy fuel and create many more jobs.
Paul Kasango from Space Links says the key to success will be to produce clean energy. The Waste2Energy project is very exciting not only from the stand point of environmental protection but also from a commercial prospect.
A successful Waste recycle plant will contribute enormously to the health well-being of the inhabitants
of the city and its surroundings. There will be many recycling opportunities upstream that will be
generated. It is expected that the establishment of a central waste collection and management solution
will bring about a cleaner city and help the Authorities reduce costs on waste management and the
enforcement of environmental protection laws.
Witech Africa has been instrumental in getting the project to where it is now, we value Kevin Gesseau’s
input and enormous knowhow in W2E roll-out on the Continent. A lot of work has already gone into the
project. PROHOC oy and WOIMA are the DOC and tech providers and project sponsors.
Due to the fact that Witech Africa represents Finnish technology and knowhow on the Continent, Space Links Uganda is able to proceed with a number of funding processes the Finnish Government has put in place for companies making use of Finnish technologies. We are in the process of making application to Finfund and through the EEP program put in place for project development for energy projects with a huge development and social impact mandate such as ours in Jinja.
"We are on a mission to change the world and WOIMA has all the ingredients to do so. Our vast experience from delivering large projects successfully together with Finnish high technology know how and our unique modular W2E power plant concept enables us to solve our Customers problems globally. We will make this big!", Henri Kinnunen, CEO WOIMA CORPORATION.
WOIMA CORPORATION welcomes Mr. Henri Kinnunen as Chief Executive Officer
Henri has a reputable international business experience with Finnish technology company Wärtsilä, working with projects in Russia, Brazil and lately in China. He holds a Master’s degree in both Mechanical Engineering and in Industrial management and Economics. Henri’s vast experience in international projects and energy technologies will enable WOIMA to bring higher value proposition to the market and to enhance WOIMA’s project delivery capability.
Waste to energy solutions on the African Continent
Energy from Waste (EfW) is one of the best available techniques for recovering residual energy from waste, even more so on the African Continent. This can include electricity, heat and transport fuels (e.g. diesel).
Power grids are failing or non-existent in the developing countries. Waste collection is a challenge and scarce foreign currency is wasted on fuel imports. Therefore, solutions supporting micro-grids and local SMEs, while improving both the state of the environment and the national balance of payments, are highly sought after.
The solution relies on a collection area of roughly ~200,000 inhabitants, while producing
• thermal energy
• potable water
enough for a city of ~20,000 people. Naturally, the energy is also available in the form of steam (400oC / 40 bar) for e.g. industrial processes.
It is a robust and modular mediumscale power plant using 15,000 to 100,000 tons of waste annually, depending on the quality of the waste. It is designed for a 30-year lifespan in the
harshest of conditions. The design is based on 20’ and 40’ sea containers, which simultaneously act as
• easily transportable units
• secure enclosures
• installation platform for technical solutions
• protective housing on-site
The business model relies on high level of key component pre-fabrication, locally sourcing the unsophisticated materials, short construction and installation time on-site, simple maintenance and advanced automation requiring very little manpower.
Waste incineration tech is a proven tech used in Scandinavia and Europe as a whole for the last 130 + years.
Witech, an international company headquartered in South Africa can now assist in bringing this robust Finnish technology to communities by inviting interested parties with access to industrial, commercial, retail and or municipal solid waste (MSW) as well as companies needing additional energy for their operations to contact for possible collaboration in this field.
WITECH is representing Finnish waste-to-energy solutions provider and circular economy front runner WOIMA.
South Africa is currently experiencing significant pressure on landfill space. Operational landfills are rapidly filling up and new landfill permits are not being issued.
In an attempt to divert waste from landfill, the government has increased landfill gate fees with plans to ban all organic waste to landfill within the next few years. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a potentially effective organic waste treatment method and landfill alternative which several waste producers have begun to utilise or consider.
Treatment of waste in an anaerobic digester both accelerates the decomposition process and produces useful by-products in the form of biogas and digestate. Biogas consists of approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide and can be upgraded to compressed natural gas, which is used as an LPG replacement or combusted directly in a generator to produce electricity and heat. The digestate produced is nutrient rich and can be used as a liquid fertiliser which returns nutrients to the soil and thereby closes the loop.
Less than 20 large scale AD installations exist in South Africa, of which, far fewer are currently operating as intended. This can be attributed to several factors. AD is a biologically mediated process generally occurring at low temperature and pressure. There are several operational challenges associated with biological systems which require a constant and regulated environment specific to the needs of the microbial community in order to operate optimally. Small deviations can result in huge process upsets and can take much longer to rectify.
As result of the small biogas industry in South Africa, very few companies and people have the experience necessary to operate anaerobic digesters. Additionally, many anaerobic digesters have been installed by international companies with very poor transfer of knowledge and training taking place before project handover. As a result, many companies with new biogas installations find themselves in the position where they are unequipped to operate their new digester and are unable to call on the expertise of others in South Africa. In many cases existing designs have been installed without a full investigation into the appropriateness for the specific waste stream, resulting, in a sub-optimal process.
Reliance, the leading organic compost provider in the Western Cape, is excited to have received the green light for the R250 million Waste to Energy project at Corona Farm in the Paarl region.
All appeals against the project have been dismissed by authorities, giving the final go-ahead to the first of its kind project. Not only will this project generate energy from organic waste, but it will directly and indirectly create over 1000 jobs, save landfill space and carbon emissions, as well as see depleted agricultural soils being rebuilt to high humus soils. The application has taken over 3 years and millions in investments to get to this stage, the final hurdle was to get the rezoning finalised.
Further to the Biogas plant, Corona Farm will be divided into separate commercial units. One unit for the Waste to Energy project and the rest of the units to new sustainable organic farms with the focus on ownership for young entrepreneurs, primarily from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Five of these units have already been developed with plantings of table- and wine grapes, as well as citrus. An additional two units are in the process of being planted.
Reliance has already started their in-house training process consisting of new entrepreneurs through an intern program. Furthermore Reliance has combined efforts with Skills Fusion and the Department of Agriculture in training new agriculture students over the next 12 months.
The company’s mission is to Grow Greener Generations, and these new initiatives can be seen as a reflection of the company ethos. Reliance starts investing at Primary school level, carrying forward the message that every child/individual can dream and make that dream a reality if they are committed to making South Africa a better place for generations to come.
Reliance has expanded operations into the Southern and Eastern Cape, with the opening of its new compost facility at Humansdorp recently.
Afrox is partnering with bio-tech start-up, New Horizons Energy, to turn organic waste destined for landfills into useable products for South African industries.
New Horizons Energy will turn organic waste into useable bio-methane at purity levels of over 90%. Furthermore, the addition of a brand new carbon dioxide (CO2) source to the Afrox portfolio will add significant capacity to Afrox’s national, but more importantly Western Cape, infrastructure.
The New Horizons plant is located in Athlone, near Cape Town, and is expected to start generating bio-gas by mid 2017. Afrox will then distribute the compressed bio-methane to its customer base as an alternative to LPG and/or diesel.
Bio-methane is a proven alternative to existing fuels used primarily for heating application across a multitude of sectors and processes ranging from food production to metal fabrication, as well as for the generation of electricity.
Heinrich Uytenbogaardt, Strategic Marketing Manager, Bulk Markets, commented, “Afrox is currently in discussions with potential customers about the advantages of a local source of bio-gas in the Western Cape, and while compressed natural gas (CNG) is already widely used in many countries around the world, this is still a relatively underdeveloped market in South Africa, and in Cape Town in particular, but one we expect to grow.”
“The upgraded bio-methane from the New Horizons plant in Athlone has a number of advantages over other fuel sources currently available in the Western Cape; it is cleaner burning with far less production of sulphur (S) or nitrogen (N) by-products, and it will have a far more consistent quality which will be especially valuable to processing industries.” Uytenbogaardt continued.
“In addition, the benefits to the environment are worth noting, as the process eliminates the need to send waste to landfill and less harmful greenhouse gases are generated from the use of bio-methane versus other conventional fuels.” He added.
The first large-scale waste-to-energy plant in Africa will be opened in Athlone in Cape Town, on Wednesday, with the aim of converting municipal solid waste into energy.
The state-of-the-art R400-million biogas plant is expected to create 80 full-time jobs and few hundred indirect jobs. The plant is owned by New Horizons Energy, a subsidiary of Clean Energy Africa. An innovative partnership with waste management company Waste Mart has been a boost and the culmination of five years of planning.
Waste Mart will deliver over 500 t/d of organic household, municipal and industrial waste to the plant. This will be converted into renewable, clean energy. New Horizons has set itself a goal of achieving zero waste to landfill, ensuring that all usable waste brought into the plant is developed into environmentally sensitive, high quality products
South Africa's first independent landfill gas-to-power project has begun generation in Johannesburg - providing 3MW of renewable electricity, enough to supply more than 5,500homes.
Project developer ENERGY Systems has started operation at Robinson Deep landfill site in Johannesburg. This is the first stage of a £7.2 million (circa 130 million rand) investment in five landfill gas generation plants in Johannesburg – and is the largest project of its kind ever developed in South Africa.
ENERGY Systems is the majority shareholder in the investment project, together with state-owned Central Energy Fund (SOE) Ltd, and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company Secure Rock Enterprises. Local communities will benefit from a 2.5% profit share in the five facilities via ENERGY Systems' Community Educational Trust.
The ambitious project has taken eight years to develop and the City Council of Johannesburg has been a joint partner throughout. The Council will share in revenue generated via a 20-year power sale agreement with Eskom, which will sell the power into the distribution network.
The five facilities will produce a maximum 11MW of renewable energy, which could reduce the city's carbon footprint by approximately 459,034 metric tonnes per year - by replacing electricity generated from fossil fuels. This carbon dioxide saving equates to the environmental benefit of removing more than 153,000 cars from the roads, or the carbon dioxide that would be offset by a 434,524 acre forest - bigger in size than Johannesburg.
A second phase of future development could increase capacity and renewable energy output at three of the active landfill sites.
This is South Africa's first and only landfill gas generation to achieve success in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Electricity Independent Power Procurement Program (REIPPP).
A second facility is scheduled to open at Goudkoppies in March 2017, which will supply
2-3MW of green power. This will be followed by a 2-3MW plant at Marie Louise, a and 1MW at Ennerdale, and finally the1MW Linbro Park facility, tentatively scheduled for completion in 2018.
ENERGY Systems first secured rights to the landfill gas in 2009, then conducted detailed environmental assessments and obtained environmental consents for the five sites. In 2012, the scheme was registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. Prior to exporting power at Robinson Deep, ENERGY Systems has been destroying biogas emissions via flaring.
David Cornish, General Manager of ENERGY Systems, said: "We are very proud to work with our partners to begin commercial operation of South Africa's largest and only independent landfill gas-to-power project. This will bring much needed renewable power supplies to the country and make an impressive contribution to greenhouse gas reduction. We are also pleased to create jobs and share the benefits with both the municipality and community."
He continued: "The success of this project owes much to the City Council of Johannesburg, whose long-term support has enabled us to keep the project on track, despite challenges along the way. This is one of many landfill gas generation projects globally by our parent company Ylem Energy, which has manufactured, installed and operates in excess of 150 MW of biogas power generation."
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