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In what has been hailed as a first of its kind in South Africa, City of Johannesburg water utility, Johannesburg Water (JW),officially launched its pilot Biogas Project at the Northern Works Waste Water Treatment Plant on Tuesday, 20 August 2013.
"For the past couple of years the City of Johannesburg has been striving to deliver quality services to the residents of the greater Johannesburg. This means that the municipality is constantly looking for new innovative ways to cater to its residents in the best way possible, as well as to live up to the name of a world class African city. The biogas to electrical energy on waste water treatment works project is another way we are proving our commitment to service delivery," said MMC:EISD, Councillor Mtshidiso Mfikoe at the launch.
According to Mfikoe and JW Project Engineer, Peter Louw, the utility made the decision to investigate biogas to electrical energy options following the realisation that continued electricity tariff increases by Eskom would have a direct effect on the operational costs of waste water treatment in Johannesburg.
"It is estimated that by 2012 the cost of electricity for waste water treatment in Johannesburg will increase from R93 million per annum as it was in 2010, to about R300 million per annum," said Louw, adding that this estimated amount excludes the proposed 16% tariff increase per annum by Eskom.
Louw added that currently JW treats 1 billion litres of sewage per day at its 6 waste water treatment works, with the potential to produce 8,5 MW of electrical energy.
The project, which is currently live, was therefore implemented at the biggest waste water treatment works in Johannesburg - the Northern Waste Water Treatment Works - as a pilot project, with the aim of eventually incorporating all 6 of JW's treatment works into the programme eventually.
"Eventually combined heat and power (CHP) generated could possibly provide about 55% of the waste water treatment electricity needs and all of the electrical power generated at the waste water treatment plant will be used on the works site," concluded Mfikoe.
Additional information: Full speech
News date: 20/08/2013