Producing biofuels with cogeneration in Malawi

Producing biofuels with cogeneration in Malawi

PressCane Limited is an ethanol distillery in Malawi and its cogeneration plant, provided by CWC member Clarke Energy, will generate its renewable electricity and power with biogas produced from a wastewater treatment plant. The plant is located in Chikhwawa, Malawi, on the west bank of the Shire River about 30 km north of Nchalo and 55km south of Blantyre, employing about 80 permanent staff.

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% ethanol to 80% petrol. The project will support the local generation of ethanol biofuel helping to decarbonise the country’s petroleum supplies. Furthermore, it reduces the country’s reliance on importation of fossil fuels for transportation.

The renewable power and heat will be used for the site’s own power consumption with the potential for export to the local electricity distribution network.

Press Cane Ltd’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.”

Alex Marshall, Group Business Development and Marketing Director at Clarke Energy, is delighted to participate in this project: “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.”

Technical details

2 INNIO Jenbacher J320 gas engines with a total generation capacity of 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.