Nersa registers six KZN biogas production operations

28th October 2013

By: Leandi Kolver

Creamer Media Deputy Editor


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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved the registration of six biogas production operations at Izimpongo Village, Melmoth and Mgwabi Village at Eshowe in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

In terms of the Gas Act, owners of operations involved in the production, importation and transmission of gas for their own exclusive use, as well as small biogas projects not connected to the national gas pipeline grid, did not have to be licensed but had to be registered with Nersa.

Twenty-one similar biogas production operations in Limpopo, and one in Pretoria, had also been registered with Nersa in July this year.

“Most of these biogas operations are in rural areas and consist of a fixed-dome plant that uses biodigesters to produce biogas from waste material, which will be supplied to heating appliances in peri-urban and rural dwellings,” the regulator stated.

The recently registered operations produced biogas from cow dung, pig manure, kitchen waste and agricultural residues through anaerobic digestion. These projects enjoy wide support from communities, as waste material is readily available to many in rural and urban areas.

The biogas technology also played a vital role with regard to environmental protection and the promotion of a cleaner environment.

“Where biogas is used in cooking and heating, less wood is used, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions, deforestation and the inhalation of smoke from wood fires, which has caused health problems among rural communities,” Nersa explained.

The energy regulator said gas production from biodigesters presented opportunities for the diversification of the energy mix through means that were affordable to most communities, particularly in rural areas where access to energy remained a major challenge.

Further, the use of biogas in rural and urban households could potentially ease the demand on the national energy grid.

“Biogas is certainly poised to play a vital role in the energy mix in South Africa,” Nersa said.

A total of 38 gas production operations have been registered by Nersa, to date.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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