25 August 2009 – An IPP in South Africa plans on building an open-air manure-to-power project in Heidelberg, near Johannesburg, it was revealed this week.

According to Lesedi Biogas Project (LBP), the plant, said to be one of the biggest in the world, will have an average output rate of some 5.3 MW and will take approximately 18 months to complete from financial drawdown.

Nunda Naidoo, LBP spokesperson, says the project will cost some $15 million and that LBP was in discussions with the Central Energy Fund, Indistural Development Corporation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Located at the Karan Beef feedlot, that project could deliver as much as 3.8MW of base load power and 6.3MW of peaking power.

The power will be sold to Eskom under South Africa’s REFIT agreement.  

“Discussions are under way with Nersa and Eskom about the tariff and basis of sale,” said Naidoo.

One of the key challenges to the project was the issue of funding.

“Unless a clear and enforceable mechanism of cost recovery and tariffs are addressed, we as a country have no effective renewable energy policy to speak of. This is of concern to investors, technology suppliers and project developers,” Naidoo commented.