First commercially viable biogas plant in South Africa begins operation

23 October 2015

The first commercially viable biogas plant in South Africa has begun supplying renewable energy to automotive manufacturer BMW. A year ago, Bio2Watt and BMW SA signed a deal for power generation.

The two companies have a ten-year deal that will ensure that up to 30% of 12MW of energy is delivered to the Rosslyn plant from the 4.4MW Bronkhorstspruit plant which was constructed at a cost of US $11.50m.

CEO of Bio2Watt, Sean Thomas, said for them to generate biogas, organic waste is directed into a digester where biogas is produced then transferred into a gas engine for electricity production. It is inserted into the power grid for uptake by power purchasers like BMW.

Thomas also indicated that the biogas plant used up to 500 t/d combination of manure, abattoir waste, food sludge, vegetable waste and paper recycling sludge.
There biogas plant was located in a place near fuel supplies, grid access and sufficient water from Beefcor’s storm water collection dams.

MD for BMW SA, Tim Abbott, explained that the biogas plant would contribute to his company’s sustainability strategy of increasing the use of renewable sources of energy by its production plants worldwide from the current 51% to 100% over the next few years.
Bio2Watt would start construction on a second waste-to-energy plant on a dairy farm in Malmesbury, Western Cape, in 2016.

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