ENER-G leads development of South Africa’s first independent landfill gas generation scheme1 January 2016
A consortium led by ENER-G Systems is investing £11 million (circa 230 million rand) in five landfill gas generation plants in Johannesburg, total installed capacity 13 MW, South Africa’s largest landfill-gas-to- power initiative yet.
ENER-G is the majority shareholder in the project, alongside state-owned Central Energy Fund (SOE) Ltd, and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) company Secure Rock Enterprises. The ENER-G Community Educational Trust will ensure that local communities have a 2.5% economic interest in the five facilities.
The landfill sites are owned by the City Council of Johannesburg, which has been a key partner throughout the project's seven- year development process. It will share in the revenue generated from a 20-year power sale agreement with Eskom, which will sell the power into the distribution network.
This is the first and only landfill gas generation project in South Africa to be successful in the Department of Energy's Renewable Electricity Independent Power Procurement Program (REIPPP). Development will take three years to roll-out across the five sites, with the first and largest facility, 5 MW, set to begin operation at Robinson Deep in summer 2016. The 3 MW Goudkoppies facility is planned to open by late 2016. Plants at Marie Louise and Ennerdale will open in 2017, with the 1 MW Linbro Park facility scheduled for completion in the middle of 2018.
ENER-G first secured rights to the landfill gas in 2009, then conducted detailed environmental assessments and obtained environmental consents for the five sites. In 2012, the scheme was registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. For the past four years at the Robinson Deep site, ENER-G has implemented flaring to collect and destroy the biogas emissions.
David Cornish, General Manager of ENER-G Systems, said: "In a country that is dominated by coal-based power plants and where there are problems with power resilience, we are proud to work with our local partners to develop much needed renewable power supplies and contribute to greenhouse gas reduction... This complex project has been seven years in development and we are very grateful to the City Council of Johannesburg, whose patience and long-term support has enabled us to overcome some significant hurdles along the way, such as achieving project compliance with the REIPPP programme."
(Originally published in MPS January 2016)