Salford-based environmental technology group Ener-g has won a major contract to generate ‘green’ electricity from harmful landfill gas for the City Council of Johannesburg in South Africa.
Over a 20 year period, Ener-g will capture methane gas from the Council’s seven landfills around the City. The methane, which is currently venting into the atmosphere is 21 times more damaging to the environment as an ozone depleting gas than carbon dioxide. Converting it into electricity for 25,000 homes in South Africa’s largest city is a real bonus both for the economy as well as the environment.
Ener-g will be the majority share holder, working in partnership with a South African company Energy Systems to develop these projects. Other participants in the project are the South African government-owned Central Energy Fund, together with Waste Rite and Lukasasa Energy Africa, Ener-g’s Black Economic Empowerment partners (a government initiative to encourage technology and skills transfer to local business).
The agreement gives Ener-g control of some 70 per cent of the landfill gas business in South Africa and comes hard on the heels of the company’s 22 million rand (£1.6 million) contract at Pietermaritzburg, near Durban as well as several other contracts in most of South Africa’s major centres of population.
Commenting on the award of the Johannesburg contract Hugh Richmond, Managing Director of Ener-g Natural Power, said: “Over the next few months we will be carrying out due diligence procedures at each of the landfill sites to assess their potential for power generation. This will be followed by an implementation phase for the installation of the generation equipment which should be operational at some of the sites by the end of 2008.”
Hugh Richmond added: “We are very proud of our involvement in this initiative which will provide environmentally beneficial technology, not currently available in South Africa, as well as enabling local people to participate in skills transfer and training programmes.”
The advanced technology that will be used at the Johannesburg sites captures methane and uses it to power an internal spark ignition engine with a capacity of 22 megawatts. The electricity is then fed into the local grid, providing power for 25,000 households in the vicinity of the seven landfill sites.
Also involved in the venture are Ecosecurities, a subcontractor that trades greenhouse gas emission reduction certificates, and the Royal Dutch Government, which has agreed to buy a percentage of the Certified Emission Reduction Certificates (CERs) resulting from the project.
“The Royal Dutch Government’s support in the project has been very valuable in that it helps to show participation between private investment companies and influential governments,” commented Hugh Richmond.
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