The first two containerised Jenbacher biogas engines have been supplied into Sub-Saharan Africa following a deal between Tropical Power, a developer of biogas and solar plants in Africa, and Clarke Energy.
The units will be supplied to an agricultural biogas plant located at a farm near Lake Naivasha, in Kenya which will process food wastes from the surrounding farms.
The engines are specially configured to operate at the high altitude of the project at nearly 2,000 metres above sea level. They will be configured for cogeneration, with surplus heat recovered as hot water and used for biogas plant process heating and for heating adjacent greenhouses.
Economic development in Kenya leads to strains on the local power distribution network, so creation of biogas using waste materials will deliver the reliable production of fuel. In turn, using this gas in the Jenbacher gas engine will facilitate consistent supplies of power to the local area. Surplus power will be supplied to the local electricity grid, helping to stabilise local electricity supplies.
Mike Nolan, Operations Director at Tropical Power, sees great potential for biogas to help power in the African continent – especially when used in combination with solar power, which can provide daytime power, with biogas being stored for use at night and when it is cloudy.
James Hobday, Clarke Energy’s new Business Development Manager for Africa commented: “This project demonstrates the viability of biogas as a power source in Africa to deliver significant supplies of power to the region.”
The biogas engines are scheduled for delivery to Kenya later this year and the project will be delivered using a combination of European technology and local content, originating from local suppliers and operated by Kenyan nationals.