Five landfill gas to energy plants are to be developed in Johannesburg, South Africa by a consortium led by Manchester, UK based biogas specialist, ENER-G Systems.
According to the company the development represent an investment of £11 million (circa 230 million rand) and is the largest landfill gas to energy power project to be developed in the country.
ENER-G explained that it is the majority shareholder in the project, alongside state-owned Central Energy Fund (SOE) Ltd, and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company Secure Rock Enterprises. The ENER-G Community Educational Trust will ensure that local communities have a 2.5% economic interest in the five facilities.
The company added that the landfill sites are owned by the City Council of Johannesburg, which was said to have been a key partner throughout the project's seven year development process. It will share in the revenue generated from a 20 year power sale agreement with Eskom, which will sell the power into the distribution network.
The five facilities are expected to produce a total of 13MW of energy and achieve equivalent carbon dioxide emissions savings of approximately 542,495 metric tonnes per year.
This was said to be comparable to the environmental benefit of removing 180,832 cars from the roads, or the carbon dioxide that would be offset by a 444,668 acre forest - almost as big as the footprint of South Africa's Kruger National Park.
Development is planned to take three years across the five sites, with the first and largest 5MW facility set to begin operation at Robinson Deep in summer 2016.
The 3MW Goudkoppies facility is planned to open by late 2016. Plants at Marie Louise and Ennerdale will open in 2017, with the 1MW Linbro Park facility scheduled for completion in the middle of 2018.
Years of Planning
ENER-G said that it 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. For the past four years at the Robinson Deep site, ENER-G explained that it has implemented flaring to collect and destroy the biogas emissions.
According to ENER-G this is the first and only landfill gas generation project in South Africa to be successful in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Electricity Independent Power Procurement Program (REIPPP) and it is the first independent power producing project in South Africa.
"This complex project has been seven years in development and we are very grateful to the City Council of Johannesburg,” commented David Cornish, general manager of ENER-G Systems.
"The five landfill gas generation facilities will also create much needed jobs, while benefiting the local municipality through revenue sharing, and aiding local communities through the ENER-G Community Educational Trust," he continued.
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