Joint venture to invest in waste-to-energy in Africa

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A joint venture will invest in waste-to-energy in Africa© Roman Mikhailiuk/Shutterstock

Astra Energy and Powertron Global have announced the launch of a joint venture for waste-to-energy investments in Africa. Astra already has a portfolio of projects, notably in the autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in Tanzania and in Lesotho.

At a time when the African continent is crumbling under tons of waste, two American companies have decided to work together to exploit this potential for energy recovery. Astra Energy and Powertron Global have announced the launch of a joint venture to explore investment opportunities in Africa.

Astra Energy has made a name for itself in recent months by winning concessions in at least two African countries. The company, headed by Ron Loudoun, has agreed with the authorities of the autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in Tanzania to convert 300 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day into energy, in order to produce 50 MW of electricity on the main island of Unguja. The electricity produced will be sold to the state-owned Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (ZECO) from 2025.

Triple impact

In Lesotho, Astra wants to develop 100 MW of capacity, including waste-to-energy conversion. The partnership with Powerton covers these two projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. The new joint venture will be 40% owned by Astra “and $5 million in cash in exchange for the contribution of its waste-to-energy technology”, says the San Diego, California-based company.

Read also- Recycling organic waste: Suez strengthens its position in the agro-industry in Morocco

According to Astra, the projects developed by the new joint venture “will treat waste accumulated in many regions, generate additional energy, improve the reliability of electricity supply essential to a growing economy, and reduce carbon emissions”. According to Australian researcher Carlito Baltazar Tabelin, the annual volume of waste generated in sub-Saharan Africa rose from 81 million tonnes to 174 million tonnes per year between 2012 and 2016, and is expected to reach 269 million tonnes by 2030.

In 2018, municipal solid waste collection coverage in sub-Saharan Africa was estimated at 44%. Waste-to-energy solutions could encourage collection and, above all, reduce the pressure on landfill sites such as Kibele in Zanzibar, where an average of 120 tonnes of waste is dumped every day.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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