advertisement

Economy

Kenya to benefit from major biogas plant

A biogas plant. Kenya is set to benefit from the installation of the first major commercial anaerobic biogas plant in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo/ANTHONY KAMAU
A biogas plant. Kenya is set to benefit from the installation of the first major commercial anaerobic biogas plant in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo/ANTHONY KAMAU 

Kenya is set to benefit from the installation of a major commercial biogas plant to be set up near Lake Naivasha.

The biogas digester is expected to produce 2.4 megawatts of power to heat greenhouses and light up over 5,000 households near the area.

The facility is also set to produce an environmentally friendly fertiliser for use on farms.

The plant follows the signing of deal between Tropical Power, a developer of biogas and solar plants in Africa, and European firm Clarke Energy to “supply the first two containerised biogas engines in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The anaerobic digestion facility will produce biogas, originating from the digestion of food processing wastes coming from the surrounding farms.

The biogas engines are scheduled for delivery to Kenya in the last quarter of 2013, and will be configured to produce electricity and heat, with surplus heat recovered as hot water and used for biogas plant process heating and for heating adjacent greenhouses.

The firm says it will supply surplus power to the local electricity grid, helping to stabilise local electricity supplies.

"Creation of biogas using waste materials will deliver the reliable production of fuel.  In turn, using this gas in the Jenbacher gas engine will facilitate consistent supplies of power to the local area."

The biogas engines will be supplied as containerised units for operation in hot and tropical countries, with the containerisation "facilitating the ready ‘plug-and-play’ deployment of the units.”

Though anaerobic digestion is already established technology in Europe and Asia for the treatment of biodegradable wastes and for the production of renewable power, Mike Nolan, Operations Director at Tropical Power sees great potential for biogas to help power in the African continent – especially when used in combination with solar power.

“Solar power can provide daytime power, with biogas being stored for use at night and when it is cloudy.”

advertisement