- Anaergia Africa Proprietary Limited (0.03 MB)
The day-to-day operations of South Africa’s first commercial biogas plant are being managed by biogas expert Anaergia Africa Proprietary Limited, part of the Anaergia international group of companies, effective 18 July 2016.
Sean Thomas, Bio2Watt’s Managing Director, says that Anaergia’s unparalleled technical capabilities and international experience led to the decision to appoint the company. “Bio2Watt began supplying green energy to BMW’s Rosslyn plant in Pretoria in October last year. Anaergia has built over 300 biogas plants worldwide. We’re thrilled to be able to tap into this expertise, along with the company’s local presence, to help us achieve the highest safety and reliability standards at the Bronkhorstspruit plant,” says Thomas.
Bio2Watt’s Bronkhorstspruit plant is located on the premises of one of South Africa’s larger feedlots (Beefcor) and an agricultural stronghold in Gauteng. The location provides the plant with proximity to key fuel supplies, grid access and sufficient water supplied by Beefcor’s storm water collection dams. The City of Tshwane is also a key supplier of waste to the project.
The biogas process relies on organic waste, which is directed into a digester where biogas is produced and then goes into a gas engine to produce electricity. This is connected into the power grid for uptake by power purchasers like BMW. Dr. Andrew Benedek, CEO of Anaergia Inc., notes: "We believe that there are tremendous opportunities to convert organic waste into clean energy in Africa. We are especially pleased to be working with Bio2Watt as it pioneers the conversion of agricultural waste streams into reliable renewable energy”.
Converting organic waste into electrical energy primarily for digester heating purposes is a well proven technology, which has gained further traction worldwide as the swing to renewable energy alternatives gains momentum and becomes price competitive with organic forms of energy generation.
“We have kick-started an industry from waste and have created a precedent in South Africa to show that it actually can be done. I have always said that the fact that we have come this far is testament to powerful partnerships – BMW, City of Tshwane, Beefcor and various committed funders including the IDC and Norfund. And now we have a new partnership with Anaergia that gives us another edge,” said Thomas.
The Bio2Watt plant in Bronkhorstspruit has the capacity to generate 4.6MW. Given the large number of cattle in the country and the proven viability of biogas, Bio2Watt believes there is massive potential for biogas as an option for renewable energy.
Bio2Watt has recently submitted a bid to the Department of Energy’s (DoE) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) for a 4.8 MW project on a dairy farm north of Cape Town. Bio2Watt is hoping to learn whether this bid was successful soon. Meanwhile, Thomas says that the company is involved in a number of potential new biogas projects together with Anaergia Africa Proprietary Limited as its technology provider in South Africa, and elsewhere on the continent.