Tshwane bio-energy facility
The need for incorporating environmental considerations into business thinking is becoming increasingly important, not only in developed countries, but also in South Africa. The proposed South African carbon tax is intended to come into effect in June
2019 and will cover a range of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, per-fluorocarbons, hydro-fluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. Petroleum fuels will be taxed at source, which will
affect the retail price. Besides the punitive measures such as the carbon tax, there are also sustainable energy-linked tax incentives such as the Income Tax Act Section 12B (Deduction in the production of renewable
energy) and Section 12l (Energy efficiency savings) These taxes and incentives will increasingly impact businesses as will the need to report on lifecycle environmental impacts.
The Tshwane Economic Development Agency (TEDA) is keen to play a leading role in promoting green economic development in the City of Tshwane (CoT). This is in line with the City’s Green Economy Strategic Framework. TEDA proposed to establish Tshwane bioenergy facility at Region 3, Daspoort Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). TEDA has completed high-level feasibility study of the proposed project.
The facility will use waste from the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market (TFPM) and the Daspoort WWTW sewage sludge to produce biomethane gas through anaerobic digestion process. The gas will be purified to supply the Transport Rapid Transit (TRT) compressed natural gas (CNG) buses that operate from the neighbouring Bel Ombre bus depot. The facility will also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and manure. The CO2 could be sold to various interested parties in the industry subject to contractual arrangement. The manure may be sold to the farming and gardening community in Tshwane.
The delivery mechanism envisaged for the project is public-private partnerships (PPP).The project is at project planning phase as guided by TEDA – PPM Project Management Framework. The next phase of the project
is to conduct pilot project before full commercialisation. The aim of the pilot “to troubleshoot process biochemistry in the face of variable feedstock composition”, to understand the nature and composition of the
feedstock availability as a result of seasonal variability at TFPM. This will be followed by PPP feasibility study of the project.
The project is estimated at R322 million. This exclude the Pilot project estimated at R30 million over 18 months. The impact of the project is the gross value add (GVA) R170 million per annum, with estimated job creation of 12 people during pilot and 7 permanent during operation.