Projects under development

Provision of 12 MW Biogas Combined Heat and Power Plant in Kenya

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes), an invasive aquatic weed, has taken over many freshwater bodies in Kenya, including Lake Victoria. Its first appearance was recorded in 1987 and has since been slowly overgrowing the water surface, permanently impacting the lake’s biodiversity. 

This project is for a biogas power generation plant on Lake Victoria, in Kenya. Thika Way Investments has asked SustainPower to design and operate a 108,900,000 kWh’s net per year power plant with 95% availability. 

OBJECTIVE & PROJECT CONCEPT: 

Help address the spread of water hyacinth present in Lake Victoria, while generating clean power for the communities nearby. Biogas produced from the decomposition of water hyacinth will serve as fuel for the proposed engines. 
 
Feedstock material for operating the power plant consists mainly of water hyacinth harvested from Lake Victoria. The water hyacinth is mixed with bagasse (and other waste products from sugar cane processing) to stabilize the fermentation process and increase gas output. Feedstock reserves are created through ensiling the feedstock material (silage).  

The fermentation process will be a continuous cycle of constantly adding feedstock to the fermenter and extracting digestate. Generated biogas will be collected within the fermenter cap. The collected biogas will be processed and introduced to CHP units for generating electricity. Digestate will be technically separated, dried, and compacted into fertilizer pellets.  

Waste products such as processed heat and separated water will be recirculated within the power plant process creating a comprehensive and sustainable power plant operating concept. 

SOLUTION & BUSINESS CASE 

The proposed power plant is comprised of 9 x MTU 16V4000L32FB Biogas Gensets to provide up to 108,900,000 kWh net per year @ 95% availability.  
 
The solution is composed of: 

  • Qty 9 x 40ft Containerized Combined Heat and Power gensets 
  • Qty 5 x Containerized Step-up Transformer – 4000kVA – YNd1d1 – 33kV:400V:400V 
  • Containerized MV Switchgear – common MV bus – Packaged in a single 40’ container & locked for safety; with Schneider Flusarc CB module 
  • Electrical works – material – LV/MV cables; optical fibre cable; multi-core cables, including cable racks and LV auxiliary power reticulation 
  • Master Plant Control System and Control Centre: this includes grid connectivity and export energy management panel (Comap), operator monitoring and control centre, site potable water system and bulk tanks 

The power plant control and monitoring system is designed to track runtime and kWh produced. 

PROJECT BENEFITS & VALUE: 

The project enterprise is creating many direct and indirect benefits in the following sectors:  

Social Benefits  

  • Improving living standards through education and job opportunities which enables permanent employment  
  • Health care improvement  
  • Increased job opportunities for street vendors  
  • Assured income for the local community  

Economic Benefits

  • Rise in shipping and trade  
  • Regeneration of fish stock  
  • Improved and reliable power supply  
  • Trigger for more local economic activity  
  • Creating local profits (assignment of local companies) 

Agricultural Benefits

  • Establishing local organic fertilizer production within the agricultural zone  
  • Decrease in chemical fertilizer import and acquisition costs  
  • Improved soil conditions and increased agricultural product yield

Environmental Benefits  

  • Efficient removal of the water hyacinth  
  • Restoration of lake biodiversity Educational Benefits  
  • Training and qualifications for industrial jobs  
  • Education in state of the art knowledge in the biogas sector at university/college level 

Water-hyacinth