Africa’s First Grid-Connected Biogas Plant to Start in Kenya

Friday 06 February 2015

The $6.5 million Gorge Farm Energy Park anaerobic digester in Kenya will consume an annual 50,000 tons of organic waste sourced from a neighboring 800-hectare (1,977-acre) farm owned by VegPro Group, one of Tropical’s investment partners.

“We expect to achieve a 5 1/2-year payback and that’s made possible by the aggregate tariff of what we sell to the grid, the locals around here and VegPro, which is East Africa’s biggest exporter of fresh vegetables to the U.K.,” McMillan said in an interview on Tuesday in Naivasha, 77 kilometers (48 miles) north of Nairobi.

The 2.8-megawatt park took a year to build and the power it will put into the national grid will cost $0.10 per kilowatt hour compared with $0.38 per KWh for diesel-generated power, McMillan said. In addition, the plant will also house a 10-megawatt grid-connected solar PV Plant.

Tropical plans to build renewable power assets across Africa producing more than 130 megawatts by 2018, according to a statement. The company is planning a plant in Ghana replicating the original model in Kenya, near Lake Volta, where VegPro has a 1,000 hectare farm, McMillan said.


To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Wachira in Nairobi at cwachira@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Kim McLaughlin, Sarah McGregor

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