Beverage producer and distributor South African Breweries (SAB) reports that it will reduce its energy consumption by about 10,7% and eliminate emissions at its Prospecton Brewery, in Durban, through the Anaerobic Digestor (AD) Gas Conversion to Electricity Project.
The project, which will cost about R25-million to implement, will involve the capturing of methane gas generated as a by-product at a nearby effluent plant to generate electricity. The gas is produced by the anaerobic digestor at the plant.
A predicted 15 MW of electricity will be generated a day based on an average daily flow rate of 5 600 kg of methane gas.
A gas pipeline will be run between the brewery and the effluent plant, which is located 1,2 km from the brewery.
The environmental-impact assessment for the AD Gas Conversion to Electricity Pro-ject has been completed, and is currently awaiting approval from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs.
SAB Prospecton Brewery engineering manager Maisa Salman says that the company will soon go out to tender to appoint a consultant responsible for the completion the project’s detailed design. The project is expected to be implemented next year at the Prospecton Brewery and at SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery, in Port Elizabeth.
Although the technology used for the energy conser- vation initiative has been introduced at other breweries internationally, the two oper-ations will be the first SAB breweries in South Africa to implement a gas conversion to electricity scheme
The project will exceed South African power utility Eskom’s requirement for a 10% reduction in energy consumption, which will translate into a savings of about R100 000 a month and R1,2-million a year for SAB.
However, Salman says that the initiative is driven less by profit and more by the social responsibility of reducing electricity use and greenhouse gases and improving energy efficiency.
The company hopes to roll out similar initiatives to other SAB breweries across South Africa and worldwide.