24 June 2013 - A 2.8 MW biogas power project in Kenya is seeing GE supply UK-based energy project developer Clarke Energy with two of its ecomagination qualified Jenbacher J420 biogas engines for a new large vegetable farm near Lake Naivasha.

The project, owned by Tropical Power, marks the first biogas engine project in sub-Saharan Africa for Clarke Energy, GE’s authorised Jenbacher gas engine distributor in the region. GE and Clarke Energy have collaborated on numerous natural gas and biogas projects in other countries on the African continent.

The farm grows vegetables for sale in supermarkets and other locations. The farm’s biomass waste, including trimmings and unsold vegetables, will be processed in a digester system to create biogas, which will fuel the Jenbacher engines to generate renewable electricity.

The two J420 units will be designed to operate at the farm’s high altitude of nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. The containerised gas engines will be configured for cogeneration, with surplus heat recovered as hot water and used to support the biogas plant’s process heating.

The project is important for Kenya’s local economy because current economic development efforts in the country are putting a strain on the local power distribution network. Currently, the farm uses power from the grid and diesel generation for pumps, irrigation production, compressors and other equipment. However, Tropical Power’s new digester biogas power plant will produce enough electricity to meet all of the farm’s on-site energy needs while also delivering surplus electricity to the local grid, which will help stabilise power supplies for the region.

GE will deliver the biogas engines to Kenya by the end of 2013. In addition to GE’s gas engines, Clarke Energy will deliver the project with local content originating from local suppliers and operated by Kenyan nationals.