08 February 2015, Nairobi – A biogas plant, the first of its kind in Africa, has opened in Naivasha.
The 2.2MW plant was constructed in six months for $6.5 million (Sh595 million).
The plant will supply up to 10,000 homes with electricity directly after a power purchase agreement was signed and power lines connected to the national grid.
It is owned by Vegpro Company and a British investor.
Tropical Power Company, the operator, said it will use 60 per cent baby corn to produce power.
Company managing director Johnnie McMillan on Tuesday said the plant will use 50,000 tonnes of vegetable residue per year.
This will produce methane gas, which will be used to run two engines to produce the power.
“This is the first ever biogas plant in Africa. We will sell half the power to Kenya Power and the rest to neighbouring farms,” he said
McMillan said the company expects to produce solid and liquid fertilisers from the plant, which will be supplied to the farms producing the baby corn.
“We expect to get around 35,000 tonnes of solid and liquid fertiliser per year,” he said. McMillan said this means the farmers will reduce the use of synthetic fertiliser by 20 per cent.
He ruled out the use of water hyacinth from nearby Lake Naivasha to run the plant, terming it very expensive.
“It would be very expensive to harvest the hyacinth, when we only plan to warm nearby greenhouses in flower farms using the gas but at a price,” McMillan said.
George Murage – The Star