Multinational gas and diesel power plant specialist Clarke Energy has secured the sale of two of gas engine manufacturer Innio Jenbacher’s biogas engines to ethanol distiller PressCane Limited, based in Chikhwawa, Malawi.
The ethanol production site generates biofuel in the form of ethanol, which is blended with petrol and sold by oil marketing companies to motorists throughout Malawi.
PressCane’s anaerobic digestion plant sustainably treats effluent arising from the site and in parallel generates biogas which will be used as a renewable fuel for the biogas engines.
The two Innio Jenbacher J320 gas engines – supplied by Clarke Energy as a combined head and power plant – can deliver 1 063 kW of electricity each, bringing the total generation capacity to 2 126 kW.
In addition, the customer will recover heat from the engines in the form of steam from boilers with about 2 000 kW of additional renewable heat available to support the site’s heating needs.
Industrial wastewater solutions provider SS Techno Limited, which has asserted itself as a leading technology company in turnkey zero liquid discharge systems for industrial wastewater, served as the project consultant.
After technical and commercial assessments, Clarke Energy received the recommendation.
“The use of biogas generated from our wastewater treatment plant will not only produce renewable power and heat for our sites operations,” says PressCane COO Bryson Mkhomaanthu. It will also fulfil the company’s ambitions of being the leading supplier of sustainable fuel sources to the local industry, he adds.
“We selected Clarke Energy and Innio Jenbacher’s biogas engines, following a comprehensive assessment of the best partners to deliver this project in Malawi,” says SS Techno marketing head Ja Natesan.
He adds that Clarke Energy has extensive experience in supporting power production from distillery effluent in India and a local aftersales support network for the biogas engines in Malawi.
Clarke Energy group business development and marketing director Alex Marshall adds that the company is honoured to be able to support this innovative project not only generating renewable power and heat to support resilience, but also to support the generation of sustainable transport fuels for the country.
PressCane is a subsidiary of the conglomerate Press Corporation Limited and began its operations in June 2004.
The plant is in Chikhwawa on the west bank of the Shire river about 30 km north of Nchalo and 55 km south of Blantyre.
The plant currently employs about 80 Malawians permanently.
The site produces ethanol, a biofuel, from fermented sugarcane molasses.
This ethanol is then used to increase the renewable energy content of local petroleum fuels at a ratio of 20% ethanol to 80% petrol.
It also reduces the country’s reliance on importation of fossil fuels for transportation.