New energy-from-waste plant launched in South Africa

Renewable company New Horizons and gas firm Afrox have opened an energy-from-waste (EfW) plant in Athlone, near Cape Town, South Africa.

The new EfW plant will focus on converting organic waste into useable biomethane which will be used to create products such as liquid carbon dioxide, organic fertiliser and compressed biomethane.

The gas will be marketed as an alternative to LPG and diesel, and the carbon dioxide will be used in industry, agriculture and wastewater treatment.

Afrox and New Horizons both said that they expect the plant to begin biogas production by the middle of this year.

New Horizons Energy CEO Egmond Ottermann said the plant will cost around R400-million, with 60% of the plant being financed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), and is expected to create 80 full-time jobs.

He said the plant was being planned over the last five years and that strategic partnership agreements were made during this period.

One included a partnership with Waste Mart which has agreed to deliver more than 500 tonnes of organic household, municipal and industrial waste to the plant every month.

Afrox will use the compressed biomethane and distribute it to its customers as an alternative to LPG or diesel.

“Afrox is currently in discussions with potential customers about the advantages of a local source of compressed natural gas in the Western Cape,” said Afrox’s Heinrich Uytenbogaardt. “And while CBM is already widely used in many countries around the world, this is still a new market in South Africa - but one we expect to grow as we work with customers on its cost-effective applications.”

He added: “Renewable energy sources like the New Horizons Energy plant can make a meaningful contribution to South Africa’s energy needs going forward. Taking waste organic matter and fermenting it to produce CO2 and biomethane will add to the country’s gas resources while cutting down on waste generation and the need for landfill sites near population centres.”

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