Biogas-to-energy project for Johannesburg Water

Water and wastewater treatment contractor WEC Projects recently completed commissioning a biogas-to-energy project on behalf of Johannesburg Water, WEC MD Karl Juncker said last week.

Johannesburg water biogas projectThe company has a contract to design and build two biogas scrubbing and cogeneration installations, one at Johannesburg Water’s Northern Waste Water Treatment Works near Diepsloot and the second at Driefontein Wastewater Treatment Works.

Northern Waste Water Treatment Works treats about 430-million litres of sewage a day and is Johannesburg’s biggest wastewater treatment plant.

The biogas-to-energy installation at the wastewater treatment site will enable Johannesburg Water, an entity of the City of Johannesburg, to produce some of its own power and soften the effect of rising electricity costs.

The move will also give Johannesburg Water back-up supply in case there is a disruption of power supply from Eskom.

“If there is no power from Eskom, there should be enough power generated by the biogas project to run critical equipment,” Mr Juncker said.

He also said WEC had completed the installation works and were already running the plant. It was capable of producing 1.1MW of power for the treatment plant, which was 18% of its power requirements.

There were plans to ramp up the project to 4MW, which would be 65% of the site’s power requirement, and the plant was designed to suit the upgrade.

Meanwhile, the National Empowerment Fund has invested R48m into a R150m heat and power plant in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. The money would be distributed in ordinary equity (R12m) and shareholder loans (R36m), it said.

The fund is a 40% shareholder in the project and intends to warehouse the shareholding for black investors.

“We intend to hold the equity until the project has completely been derisked and the National Empowerment Fund is able to transfer equity to a black economic empowerment investor when the project can deliver value and create new wealth,” it said.

Source: Business Day Live (By Siseko Njobeni)

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