Black & Veatch announced on Tuesday that it had been chosen by MBHE African Power to provide technical assistance for South Africa’s first waste-to-energy (WTE) plant to be located in the Drakenstein municipality, near Wellington in the Western Cape.
A statement from the US-based, employee-owned company that specialises in engineering, procurement and construction services in energy, water, and telecommunications said the plant would contribute 10 MW to the power grid.
The statement added that the US Trade and Development Agency had recently awarded MBHE African Power, a South African renewable energy project developer, a grant as joint developer in the public-private partnership that included the Drakenstein Municipality and Interwaste, a South African waste management company.
“This landmark project will play a critical role in boosting power supply and available electricity to households,” said Webb Meko, Black & Veatch’s managing director for sub-Saharan Africa.
The company said the facility would use wet organic fraction to produce biogas and dry fraction of municipal waste to provide clean-burning natural gas energy.
In addition to providing a renewable energy resource, the waste management project would help address landfill limitations by diverting up to 500 t of waste per day, reducing the waste volume by 90%.
“Partnering with MBHE on this project will help address an increasingly critical waste management challenge facing the community,” says Karen Daniel, chief financial officer of Black & Veatch’s sub-Saharan Africa growth initiative.
“The completed project will address this issue while also providing a sustainable energy solution to meet growing electricity demand.”
The project supports Power Africa, a US government-led initiative to increase access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30 000 MW of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60-million new home and business connections.
Black & Veatch, which has been working on infrastructure projects in Africa for more than 50 years, recently announced the creation of a South African subsidiary to be based in Johannesburg.
The company, which had revenues of $3-billion in 2014, lists Ghana’s Takoradi Power Facility and the Sere Wind Energy Project in South Africa’s Western Cape among previous projects.
It said it is currently supporting “a 4 800 MW supercritical coal-fired power megaproject in South Africa”, one of the largest energy infrastructure projects under construction in the world.