ETHIOPIA: Biomethane to be supplied by 3 companies via wastewater treatment plants

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ETHIOPIA: Biomethane to be supplied by 3 companies via wastewater treatment plants©Bertold Werkmann/Shutterstock

A four-party agreement has recently been signed between Gaia, 4 R Energy, Lem-Ethiopia and Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority. It concerns the implementation of a system for the production of biomethane out of sludge from wastewater treatment plants.

To provide biomethane to households in Ethiopia. Such is the objective of a project currently underway and led by three private companies. These are Gaia, 4 R Energy and Lem-Ethiopia. Together, they have signed a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority.

The three companies will set up a “modern system” for the production of biomethane. It is a gas very rich in methane derived from the purification of biogas from the fermentation of organic matter. For this project, the sludge from wastewater treatment will be recovered. The project will focus on wastewater treatment plants in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

These include the Kaliti wastewater treatment plant, which was commissioned in July 2018. It has a treatment capacity of 100,000 m3 of wastewater per day, discharged by more than one million people. The construction of the Kaliti wastewater treatment plant has received $250 million in funding from the World Bank.

Gaia, 4 R Energy and Lem-Ethiopia will also set up a system to recover sludge from Akaki’s wastewater treatment plants. The first site is located in Cheffe and treats 24,000 m3 of wastewater per day. The second is Akaki South. It has a 50,000 m3 of wastewater capacity per day.

These treatment plants should provide enough raw material for the production of biomethane. “There is a huge demand for affordable renewable energy solutions, especially for household cooking needs. Waste recovery projects could be an important response to this demand,” says Alan Schilli, Gaia’s Managing Director. He adds that “4 R Energy not only develops the entire value chain of the biomethane production industry, but also complies with quality standards in accordance with International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), in collaboration with the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority”. The first results of the partnership between Gaia, 4 R Energy and Lem-Ethiopia will probably be known within a few months.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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