Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge yesterday urged all urban municipalities to adopt and develop biogas projects.
By Fidelity Mhlanga
Speaking during a tour of the Mbare biogas project, Undenge said the generation of electricity through biogas will address both power and waste challenges, and was generally cheaper.
“As government, we are placing thrust on renewable energy and biogas is one of them. We believe that the waste, for example the vegetable waste from Mbare Musika. If we utilise that waste we can produce electricity through biogas. Then we can have a cleaner environment and the challenge of how to dispose our waste is tackled, “he said.
The Mbare biogas project is a culmination of a partnership between Harare City Council and Synlak and is anticipated to produce 100 Kilovolt-amps (KVA) after commissioning end of September.
The project can be expanded to produce 500KVA.
The Energy minister hailed the Mbare project, urging the city fathers to expedite the Pomona project which is envisioned to produce 30 megawatts.
“We commend your efforts. We will follow through with the project at Pomona which will produce 30 megawatts. If we can produce up to 30 megawatts it’s a lot of power Let’s do our things chop chop (sic). It’s no longer business as usual. We need something to happen there, even Cabinet is pushing for such projects. I need all urban areas to embark on biogas projects so that waste material is not just dumped. Let’s utilise it to produce power, in Europe that’s what they are doing, no waste is thrown away,” he said.
City of Harare chief engineer for electrical and mechanical services, Calvin Chigariro said they are negotiating for a net metering arrangement with the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZEDTC).
“From the biogas we are going to fire a generator, which will produce 100 KVA of energy that will feed to the grid through a line that is next to the plant. We have proposed a net metering arrangement with ZEDTC which we are still negotiating. If I may remind you, net metering regulations have not yet been gazetted, but ZEDTC has similar arrangements with other IPPs such as Hippo Valley and others,” he said.
In terms of the Pomona waste energy plant Chigariro said the city fathers have applied for feasibility funding from the Finance ministry.
“At Pomona we collect about 1 000 tonnes of waste daily. From the studies we carried out last year, 20% of it is biodegradable material. Our solution is to instal a waste energy plant, but that one will be through incineration that’s what the prefeasibility studies has shown us. It can produce between 25 to 30 megawatts. We have done an application to the ministry of Finance to fund the feasibility studies and proceed for tender for engagement partners for the implementation of the project,”