Overview of biogas market in South Africa - Department Of Energy

Overview of biogas market in South Africa - Department Of Energy

Gracia Munganga GreenCape-Waste Economy Sector Manager 30.10.2013  Introduction  Historical challenges  The case for biogas/bio-energy in SA...

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Gracia Munganga GreenCape-Waste Economy Sector Manager 30.10.2013


Historical challenges

The case for biogas/bio-energy in SA

Types of biogas systems in SA

Current industry challenges

Upcoming projects

List of biogas companies in SA

Biogas (Anaerobic digestion) is not a new technology. First industrial use dates back to 1895 in England (McCabe et al., 1967)

In SA, John Fry (biogas pioneer) experimented AD of pig manure in 1957!! AD was introduced in waste water treatment facilities in 1980s (350/867 WWTPs registered for AD). Biogas has several advantage i.e. carbon sequestration, sustainable waste management solution for organic waste & energy source.

Picture appeared in the Farmers Weekly (1970s)

•E.g. there are ~1000 commercial plants built a year in Germany

SA has experienced limited market •There are 12 million in India, 600 in Uganda versus penetration for biogas only 300 in SA (Engineering news, 2013)

Waste Management Landscape, SA

•Landfill is the most common way of disposal (highest recycling rate/landfill diversion ~14%) •No separation at source for waste collection-only practiced in certain areas as pilot projects (2 bag system)

Cheap electricity costs

Cheap landfilli ng costs

BAU (sort, collect, dispose)/ public perception of WtE

High capital costs (R15-35 mil/MW, IDC 2012) Lack of financial and regulatory incentives (e.g. grants, subsidies, tax cuts, etc.)

Changing regulatory framework South Africa’s energy crisis & power outages in 2008 rising electricity costs (Eskom application to NERSA 12% per year over the next 5 years)

Government incentives for renewable energy applicable to biogas projects Eskom Industrial Demand Side Management (IDM)/Standard Offer Programme (SOP) rebate programme (R10 mil/MW)

South Africa ratified the Kyoto protocol and committed to reduce GHG emissions (34% reduction by 2020, 45% by 2030)

Grants from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP)

Introduction of the carbon tax between 2015-2019 (~R12R48/tonnes) /Carbon labelling for farmers produce in the European market

Loans from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Green Energy Efficiency Fund (GEEF, prime less 2%) in partnership with KfW

Increasing waste management costs (the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 59 of 2008 act) Increasing gate fee/amending the definition of waste will fast-track the process.

Waste Minimization & Separation at Source (e.g. garden waste & Waste Tyres)

Speculation that organics might be banned from landfill in the next 5 years /Abattoirs

Domestic/residential digesters

◦ Most common installations in South Africa  PVC digester  Concrete digester  Plastic bag (biobag digester)

◦ Application-cooking, lighting & sanitation  Residential, rural areas (schools, villages)


Biobag50, Dicla, Tarlton (BiogasSA,2012)

Dome digester (concrete)


Defined as biogas systems between 25-250 kW Use of gas directly/generation of electricity

Target market:

(biogas-info, 2013)

◦ conference/community centres, ◦ small commercial facilities e.g. abattoirs, dairy factories, farms, etc.


◦ Humphries Boerdery outside Bela-Bela (30kW)

iBERT ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Abattoir-Jan Kemdorp (iBERT 100 kW) Cullinan (190 kW) Robertson (150 kW) Jacobsdal (150 kW)


Large scale digesters (>250 kW): large facilities e.g. municipal solid waste, abattoirs, farms, wastewater treatment facilities, etc. ◦ Landfill gas (5CDM registered, ~8 more approx.)  Mariahill (Durban, 1MW)- (2003-2010)  Bisasar (Durban, 6.5 MW)-2010


Chloorkop landfill gas project (EnviroServ, 2010) • Ekhurleni landfill gas project (2010) • Robinson Deep, City of Joburg (19 MW, 2011)


Biogas digester at SA breweries (SAB) ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

Alrode/UASB-2005 Newlands/UASB-2007 Rosslyn Prospection Ibhayi


AD for industrial & municipal wastewater in SA ◦ Cape Flats biogas digester-dewatering sludge (2003) ◦ Ceres fruit farm-UASB digester, Veolia (1998) ◦ PetroSA (Biotherm, 4.2 MW-2008) ◦ Refurbished digester -Joburg Northern Works facility (1.2 MW) , 2013

 Eastern Cape-EOI for 110 domestic digesters by SANEDI and Fort Hare (August 2013, KSEF)  KZN (21 small scale/domestic installations-Engineering News,Oct 2013)

 Gauteng-iBERT (500 kW, Meyerton)  Gauteng & Western Cape-Bio2Watt (3 & 2 MW)  Gauteng-Lesedi 4.2 MW

Complex municipal procurement legislation

Connection to the grid & low tariffs from the DoE (REIPPP)

Municipal Financial Management Act & Cap on bulk sale price to Municipal System Act municipalities (« Eskom) (Section 78). Low tariffs (i.e. 90

Environmental and legal compliance Finance/Funding

WtE projects trigger Rc/kWh & 94 Rc/kWh for Difficult to secure long multiple environmental biogas and landfill gas term agreement (>3 High capital costs regulations (NEMWA, years) for the waste and respectively vs. R1.4NEMA, NWA and to enter in Public Private 2.1/Kwh in Germany for NEMAQ) partnerships (PPPs) with example). municipalities

Scope and benefits

Difficult zoning Minimum size of not always well projects (1MW vs 400 kW legislation to allow WtE defined and not clear in Germany ) project - difficulty in obtain land

between municipalities and investor(s).

Type Small Scale /Domestic-Residencial 1


Small scale (domestic), manufacturer, project developer



Project developer



Project developer


Trade Plus Aid

Project developer



Project developer, manufacturer Medium-Large



Project developer, large scale (3 MW projects)



Project developer, Manufacturer (EcoFuels)


Biogas Africa (Biogas Nord)

Project developer



Project developer-biomass (17MW) & biogas (3.8 MW)/ (large scale)


Talbot & Talbot

Project developer, manufacturer (SAB digesters)



Project developer


Prime Solutions

Project developer



Project developer



Project developer



Project developer, landfill gas



Project developer, landfill gas



Project developer (WWTPs)


CA Component

Genset Manufacturer



Project developer

McCabe,J; Eckenfelder,W. eds (1975).

Biological treatment of sewage and industrial wastes.Two volumes. New York: Reinhold Publishing. http://www.afrigadget.com/2010/06/09/s olving-the-flexible-biogas-digesterproblems/