An Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) company, Tropical Power has launched one of Africa’s largest biogas plants in Naivasha. The project referred to as the first grid-connect Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant worth KES721m (US$ 7m), is part of the Gorge Farm Energy Park. The plant will add an additional 2.2MW of power to the national grid once completed.
Tropical Power has made it clear that 50 per cent of the power produced will be sold to the Gorge Farm, and the rest to Kenya Power. Moreover, the firm plans to build renewable power assets across Africa to generate over 130 megawatts of clean energy by 2018 including in other countries like Ghana. In 2016, Tropical Power will construct a further 10MW of solar generation capacity.
50,000 tonnes of organic waste
The Digester plant will consume 50,000 tonnes of organic waste per year and more than 35,000 tonnes output from the process could be used as rich, natural fertilizer to improve the crop yield for local farms.The facility uses local organic crop wastes as feedstock for an innovative two-stage AD plant that is consistently up to 30 per cent more efficient than conventional single-stage plants. This waste is digested by micro-organisms feeding in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas. The biogas is then combusted in gas engines to produce electricity and heat.
General Electric provided its Jenbacher gas engines for the first time in East Africa in a renewable energy project. The containerized gas engines are configured for cogeneration, with surplus heat recovered as hot water and used to support the plant’s process heating. Tropical Power will work together with General Electric, Kenya Power and the Ministry of Energy on more ground breaking projects involving alternative sources of energy.The Gorge Farm Anaerobic Digester plant will be owned and managed by Biojoule Kenya Ltd, an independent power producer and part of the Tropical Power Energy Group.