South Africa Has Opened a New Power Plant That Converts Waste to Energy

energy-from-waste power plant
Image Source: Elliott Brown, CC BY 2.0

An energy-from-waste (EfW) power plant, which was built by renewable energy firm New Horizons Energy Ltd. and gas company Afrox, was inaugurated for operation in Athlone, South Africa.

This new plant was specifically designed to create usable biomethane from organic waste. Then, the biogas will be used to make products, such as fertilizers and liquid carbon dioxide, which will be used in farming, wastewater treatment and in other industries. It will also be marketed as an alternative to diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

According to the executives of both companies, the plant will start producing biomethane by the middle of this year. Egmond Ottermann, CEO of New Horizons, stated that the facility costs around 400 million rands, with 60% of the amount being funded by the Industrial Development Corporation.

The plant was planned over the years with strategic partnership agreements, which include waste producers delivering tons of organic waste to the plant each month, while the plant distributes biomethane to users as an alternative to other traditional fuels.

Sharing his opinion about the importance of this new power plant, Heinrich Uytenbogaardt of Afrox said:

“Afrox is currently in discussions with potential customers about the advantages of a local source of compressed natural gas in the Western Cape. 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.

“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 centers.”