Sep 09, 2011
Group to assess Mpumalanga biomass-to-energy potentialBack
© Reuse this
The €400 000 nine-month project, which is partially funded by the governments of Finland and Austria and hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, aims to assist previously disadvantaged small-scale sugar cane growers in increasing their profitability through biomass-to-energy (B2E) interventions.
“This will be done by deter-mining the feasibility of con-verting excess sugar cane residue, which is traditionally burnt on a field, into tradable commodities, such as electric-ity and biofuels,” says Aurecon project manager Jean Bouwer.
The project, which will integrate Aurecon’s Integrated Rural Energy Solution (IRES) initiative, will contribute to local economic development and government’s ‘electricity for all’ undertaking.
Further benefits include reducing deforestation and the ecological impact invader plant species have on the area, as well as the impact of round wood supply, which is diminishing owing to current charcoal practices.
The IRES initiative com-bines three tried and tested development models to further the success of rural develop-ment. These include converting B2E, cultivating energy crops and building capacity in terms of income creating activities in the rural area.
“Advances in renewable energy, including electricity- and heat-generation technol-ogies, have delivered new, more versatile and well-priced B2E conversion plants,” he says.
A small 2 MW generation plant, for example, will create more than 100 permanent jobs, sustained through the sale of about 200 t of charcoal and about 50 000 ℓ of bio-oil, says Bouwer.
As more readily available fuels and electricity will be on hand at affordable prices, there will be less dependence on natural wood resources for energy sources, further reducing deforestation and land erosion.
Further, the introduction of an energy crop that yields both commercial produce, such as fruit, grain and sugar, and feedstock is beneficial to the rural community, as energy cannot be produced if the crops are not cultivated.
An energy crop promotes food security and can stimulate economic upliftment through the sale of the excess commod-ities to markets outside the community.
“Meanwhile, basic infrastructure, such as water supply, sanitation, energy and roads, is developed, which underpins socioeconomic development and has the potential to boost the quality of life of the people,” says Bouwer.
The provision of infrastruc-ture can be realised through the revenue generated from the sale of solid and liquid fuels, electricity and commercial produce.
A phased approach to the project is envisaged, where the small-scale growers’ existing operations are being slowly transformed by enabling the growers to produce solid and liquid fuels for the retail market and electricity for their own use while growing sugar cane.
Aurecon’s partners in the project are the Mpumalanga Cane Growers Association, the South African Cane Growers Association and TSB Sugar.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
Other Biofuels News
The International Bioenergy Exhibition and Asian Bioenergy Conference (IBSCE) 2015 is set to take place from October 21 to 23 in Shanghai, China.
Water treatment solutions company Veolia Water Technologies South Africa has been awarded a contract to design, build and operate South Africa’s first Biobulk Waste Water Treatment facility, which will be ready for commissioning in March 2016.
Biogas produced from anaerobic digestion of fish, chocolate and other food waste is currently being used as an ecofriendly agent in the production of carpets by global carpet manufacturer Interface Flooring’s plant in the Netherlands, which it hopes to employ in all...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has the potential to completely change the relationships between individual consumers, professional designers and manufacturers. So argued Loughborough University Reader in Computer Aided Product Design Dr Ian...
Airbus Defence and Space: Military Aircraft has highlighted that its A330 Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) has significant commonalities with the Airbus A330-200 commercial airliner, upon which it is based. The South African Air Force (SAAF) once operated a fleet of...
Financial services provider Nedbank launched the second edition of its Carbon Footprinting Guide earlier this month, which is aimed at demystifying carbon footprint approaches and help readers grasp the main concepts of carbon measuring, monitoring, reporting and...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Caterpillar’s first backhoe loader. This also coincides with the worldwide release of its latest-generation F2 series backhoe loader, which was launched at supply chain services company Barloworld Logistics’ Big Dig Day in...
A shortage of software engineers is leading to fewer information technology (IT) projects in private and public sector organisations. This also places a dampener on the economy, as IT is an integral part of business and civil service, says University of Witwatersrand...