Glendale Valley demonstration biogas plant

The use of waste cane tops and trash (which forms 30-40% of the cane crop) together with “Kahle” (mill reject stalk) cane, as a potential fuel source to optimise sugar cane farming was put forward by Dr Thomas Funke of the SA Cane Growers Association…

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Thorny Park biogas demonstration power plant – 2016

This is a 50KW capacity demonstration bio-gas power plant fuelled by a dedicated crop of Napier grass and cane crop residue on the Thorny Park farm in the Tugela River Valley, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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The eZulweni biogas plant – 2018

Work commenced in 2018 on the planning of a 1MW commercial plant on an adjacent farm.  You can download the Project Development Summary here.

Objectives and Expected Outputs

The objective of the demonstration project is to prove the technology in a South African context and based on operational data produce a business model which can be rolled out to both small scale and commercial sugarcane growers.

Potential Operational Revenues come from the following sources:

•    Monthly plant monitoring and maintenance fees
•    Sales of Biofuel to local cane transport operators
•    Sales of Electricity
•    Sales of Biogas to the local community (for heating and cooking)
•    Sale of Carbon credits (dependent on Carbon price viability)
•    Sale of NPK Fertilizer

Data collection and analysis

The testing of the demonstration plant will produce data which confirms the production of the above outputs. This data will be utilized to prepare a financial model to determine the price of the above products which are sustainable both to the farmers as well as Sucropower as the business entity who will roll out and operate the projects as well as provide mentorship and training to communities.

Project Partners

After a successful meeting, we shook hands on the deal. In the picture are, clockwise from left Peter Saville, Errol Watt, Anthony Saville, Horst Unterlechner and Nic Bennett.

General and Environmental Impacts

The project will provide a reduction in the utilisation of fossil fuels through production of own fuel and electricity by utilizing the current waste products of the sugarcane growing process, namely sugarcane tops, trash and “Kahle” cane.

There is also the opportunity for local communities to have access to low cost gas and electricity to replace their use of fossil fuels and wood for heating, lighting and cooking.

Glendale Gallery

Thorny Park Gallery

eZulweni Gallery

eZulweni video gallery