South Africa invests in biomass energy
As part of the incentive program within the South African government, a biomass plaint with a capacity of 17.5 MW has been selected as the latest renewable energy project. Building Energy, an Italian organization focusing on the production of energy from renewable resources, will lead the completion of a biomass plant, which will have a short supply chain in South Africa.
The allocation of this project is part of the third round of an incentive program of energy production from renewable resources promoted by the county's Ministry of Energy. The biomass plan by Building Energy was the only one selected by local authorities and the first to provide base load power under the Department of Energy Renewable Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPP).
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The plant, which will be positioned in Mkuze, in the country's North Eastern region, will hold a capacity of 17.5 MW and will be fueled by a combustion of sugar cane tops and leaves biomass producing 132,000 MWh per annum. Charl Senekal Suiker Trust (CSST) is the main private sugar producer in South Africa and plants more than 3,500 hectares of irrigated sugar cane in Mkuze and Pongola and produces 360,000 tons of finished product annually.
Building Energy will be a shareholder of this project with a number local investors including BE, CSST H1 Holdings and Mkuze Local Community Trust, whereas Rand Merchant Bank will be the Mandate Lead Arranger for the Project Finance. The plant's overall value is estimated to be around $100 million.
The project will involves (construction set to begin July 2014) around 100 local technicians, whereas 240 more will work in the departments connected to the plant after the activation, expected at the end of 2016. Furthermore, it will have local components to the tune of 40 percent of project value.
“We are very satisfied for this new assignment in South Africa,” said Fabrizio Zago, Building Energy CEO. “During the first round of the program our project involving a 81 MW photovoltaic system in the Northern Cape region had already been selected, which is currently being built and will end in August 2014.”
HyNet North West and InterGen to build Zero Carbon plant
Expected to begin in the mid-2020s, the partnership could reduce the CO2 emissions from the Runcorn power station by over 150,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road every year.
Situated across one of the UK’s largest industrial areas which supports the highest number of manufacturing jobs of any UK region, HyNet North West will bring clean growth to safeguard jobs, and create thousands of new employment opportunities.
Following a commitment of £72 million in funding, HyNet North West will transform the North West into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster, playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the global fight against climate change.
HyNet North West will begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales region from 2025, replacing fossil fuels currently used for electricity generation, industry, heating homes and transportation with clean hydrogen. The project will also capture and lock up carbon which is currently emitted into the atmosphere.
It anticipates that by 2028, Rocksavage will have enough hydrogen produced by HyNet to move towards a 100% net zero power generation power station as the Gas Turbine technology becomes available.
InterGen’s Rocksavage Plant Manager Dan Fosberg said Rocksavage has been safely generating energy to power the north west for nearly 25 years, but in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, traditional generation needs to adapt.
"HyNet North West will allow us to pivot our operations as we transition to a low-carbon world. The proximity of the Rocksavage Power Plant to the HyNet North West hydrogen network provides us with an exciting and unique opportunity," he said.
As soon as the first stage of the hydrogen network is available at Runcorn, InterGen intends to modify the existing generating plant to consume a blend of hydrogen with natural gas and start to reduce our emissions.
The HyNet North West project milestones mean that Rocksavage could be the first plant in the UK to blend Hydrogen with natural gas, a step forward for the industry in the target for net-zero. Once the gas turbine technology becomes available, it will explore options with HyNet North West to create a zero emissions power station using 100% hydrogen.
The project will play a big part in supporting Liverpool City Region in its commitment to reach zero carbon by 2040 and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Putting the Liverpool City Region at the heart of the Green Industrial Revolution is one of my top priorities. With our existing strengths in green energy, we have the potential to become the UK’s renewable energy coast.
“I am committed to doubling the number of green jobs in our region and exciting projects like HyNet will be a key part of that. We’re going to lead the way, not only in doing our bit to tackle climate change, but in pioneering new and innovative technology that in turn attracts more jobs and investment to our region.”
David Parkin, HyNet North West Project Director, said HyNet North West will play a big part in tackling climate change regionally. "It will ensure the region remains an attractive location for investment and for companies to grow through the establishment of a clean economy, protection of skilled jobs and creation of thousands of new long-term employment opportunities.
“Our partnership with InterGen at Rocksavage shows just how great an impact HyNet will have on the region – decarbonising homes, workplaces, travel and industry.”
HyNet North West is a low carbon energy project at the forefront of the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future, being developed by a consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Cadent, Essar, Inovyn, Eni, University of Chester, CF Fertilisers and Hanson.