A landmark project that converts gas from household waste into electricity was officially launched in Durban, South Africa, last week. While other countries have been generating energy from waste for sometime now, this project is the first of its kind in Africa. The plant captures harmful methane gas from a landfill site and produces eight megawatts of electricity.
This is good for the environment. Millions of cubic metres of greenhouse gases that would otherwise have escaped into the atmosphere each year, contributing to global warming, will now be converted into clean electricity.
Furthermore, the electricity generated from waste is expected to generate huge profits for the eThekwini Municipality. The R100 million project was funded by the city, the departments of trade and industry and energy, and the French Development Bank which lent R58 million.
According to a city official, they will be able to pay off the debt in four years and after that it will be a massive profit for the city. The national government is also greatly impressed by the project and had asked Durban to help other cities to start generating electricity from waste.
I would like to see the other cities in South Africa emulating Durban’s example. And I hope that other African countries will also learn from the South Africans.