New Horizons Waste to Energy

Due to geography and location of the Western Cape, landfill airspace comes at a premium, and as a result landfill tipping fees are higher here than the rest of the country. Coupled to this, gas prices are higher in the Western Cape since, being so remote from the natural gas fields of Mozambique, industrial gases need to be trucked in from Gauteng and further afield. These two factors couple together to make a perfect opportunity to develop a plant that both a) reduces waste to landfill and b) produces a valuable industrial gas.

The Plant Developer latched on to this opportunity and contracted FCE, the parent company of FGE, to produce a full turn-key solution for the plant. As a company Fountain is responsible for the full engineering design, construction, erection and installation, commissioning and operation and maintenance of the plant.

The plant will process 480 tons / day of MSW using mechanical means to extract the organic fraction. This organic fraction of MSW will be supplemented with 70t/day of pure organic waste and processed in an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to produce approximately 1,250 Nm3 / h of biogas. After H2S and VOC removal, and further upgrading, the biogas will be separated into its two main components – biomethane and CO2. After compression to 250 bar the biomethane will be tankered off site as CNG, and the liquid CO2 will be stored on site at -25°C, ready for dispatch to industrial clients.

Thanks to specialist machinery and equipment the raw MSW will be processed to produce the following useful products:

  • Organic sludge for use in the AD plant
  • Recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, unbroken glass)
  • Refuse derived fuel (RDF) to be used as a furnace coal replacement

As a result only the crushed glass and minerals (grit, sand etc) from the original raw MSW stream will find their way back to landfill, thereby diverting as much as 90% from landfill.

After processing in the AD plant the organic digestate will be dewatered and processed into a nutrient-rich organic fertiliser, thereby ensuring a near-perfect closed loop as nothing goes to waste.

Inside Cape Town’s new Bio-digester plant


Sector: Waste to Energy
Client: Confidential
Location: Cape Town
Completed: In process
Capital Cost: R2,100 / ton MSW / year
Jobs Created: +/- 140