SA BMW plant to get power from manure, waste

Bio2Watt biogas renewable energy plant (Photo: supplied)
Bio2Watt biogas renewable energy plant (Photo: supplied)

Cape Town – BMW SA’s Rosslyn, Pretoria, plant will get up to 30% of its power through renewable energy from a biogas project, the German car maker announced on Friday.

About 40 000 tonnes per annum of cattle manure and around 20 000 tonnes of organic waste will be fed into digesters that will produce biogas to drive a gas engine for power.

BMW SA’s partnership with energy company Bio2Watt was the first commercially viable biogas project in SA.

Managing director of BMW Group South Africa, Tim Abbott, said there was a plan to transition the company’s production facilities to be powered 100% by renewable sources by the year 2020.

“Our vision is to draw 100% of our energy requirements from renewable sources with the help of partners such as Bio2Watt,” he said.

The Bio2Watt plant was situated in Brankhorstspruit on a Beefcor feedlot, which was nearby its key fuel supplies.

The City of Tshwane was also a key supplier of waste to the project.

Bio2Watt CEO Sean Thomas explained that biogas was a storable form of renewable energy, capable of being transported and utilised 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“For this reason, biogas is capable of providing energy on a small scale, but can be expanded to large scale, centralised production,” he said.

According to Thomas the technology enabled a reduction in the volumes of waste to landfill, thereby helping local municipalities to meet their zero-waste commitments.

“It will create localised employment opportunities for low skilled work force essentially around the waste collection and sorting in both rural and peri-urban areas.

There are about four million cattle in South Africa, a significant number of which are held on large farms and the potential for project replication is thus substantial,” Thomas said.  

According to the Southern African Biogas Industry Association, biogas can contribute 2.5 GW of generation capacity in the country, using wastewater, food waste, manure, agricultural residues and commercial processes including abattoirs, breweries and cheese factories.

ZAR/USD
16.83
(+0.36)
ZAR/GBP
21.23
(+0.57)
ZAR/EUR
19.00
(+0.99)
ZAR/AUD
11.72
(+0.85)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.45)
Gold
1802.68
(-0.29)
Silver
18.64
(-0.18)
Platinum
835.00
(-1.41)
Brent Crude
43.32
(+0.49)
Palladium
1939.00
(+1.81)
All Share
55787.90
(-0.15)
Top 40
51536.91
(-0.04)
Financial 15
10339.64
(+0.63)
Industrial 25
77428.31
(-0.10)
Resource 10
52587.29
(-0.39)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1872 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2452 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3650 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2628 votes
Vote