Malawi to generate renewable energy from biogas with help from Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher

• Malawi’s Ethanol Distillery – PressCane Limited, to generate renewable power and heat from biogas generated from wastewater treatment plant

CLARKE Energy, a leader in the engineering, design, installation and long-term maintenance of gas engine-based power plants, has secured the sale of two INNIO Jenbacher biogas engines to PressCane, an ethanol distillery company, which is a subsidiary of the Malawian conglomerate Press Corporation Limited.

The ethanol production site generates biofuel in the form of ethanol which is blended with petrol and sold by oil marketing companies to motorists throughout Malawi. Their anaerobic digestion plant sustainably treats effluent arising from the site and in parallel generates biogas which will be used as a renewable fuel for the biogas engines.

 Press Cane began its operations in June 2004. The plant is located in Chikhwawa on the west bank of the Shire River about 30km north of Nchalo and 55km south of Blantyre, employing about 80 permanent Malawians. The site produces ethanol, a biofuel, from fermented sugarcane molasses. This ethanol is then used to increase the renewable energy content of local petroleum fuels at a ratio of 20 percent ethanol to 80 percent petrol. It also reduces the country’s reliance on importation of fossil fuels for transportation.

 The two INNIO Jenbacher J320 gas engines – supplied by Clarke Energy as a combined head and power plant – are capable of delivering 1,063 kilowatts (kW) of electricity each, bringing the total generation capacity to 2,126 kW. In addition, the customer will recover heat from the engines in the form of steam via boilers with approximately 2,000 kW of additional renewable heat available to support the site’s heating needs.

 SS Techno Limited, India, a leading technology company in turnkey Zero Liquid Discharge systems for Industrial Wastewater, served as the project consultant. After technical and commercial assessments, Clarke Energy received the recommendation.

Press Cane’s Chief Operations Officer, Bryson Mkhomaanthu, commented, ‘The utilisation of biogas generated from our wastewater treatment plant will not only produce renewable power and heat for our sites operations, it will also fulfil the Company’s ambitions of being the leading supplier of sustainable fuels sources to the local industry.’

 J Natesan, Head of Marketing at SS Techno Ltd said, ‘We selected Clarke Energy and INNIO’s Jenbacher biogas engines, following a comprehensive assessment of the best partners to deliver this project in Malawi. Clarke Energy has extensive experience in supporting power production from distillery effluent in India and a local aftersales support network for the biogas engines in Malawi.’

Alex Marshall, Group Business Development and Marketing Director, Clarke Energy added, We are honoured to be able to support this innovative project not only generating renewable power and heat to support resilience at a Press Cane’s site in Malawi, but also to support the generation of sustainable transport fuels for the country.’

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