The Durban University of Technology in partnership with the Innovation Technology Business Incubator (Invotech) as well as the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) launched a project that will promote the sustainability of sugarcane growers in this industry.
The Biogas Project is aimed at ensuring that growers have the enough equipment to become economically sustainable in the long run. The biogas plant produces gas that can be converted to energy that can supply electricity. This energy can be used for various purposes, such as to provide power within a farm and for water supply. Numerous tests have already been conducted and the plant has been modified to make it more efficient.
According to Invotech’s Fikile Sinefu, this initiation which started June last year (2015) and has been able to generate six temporary jobs which have six months duration and two candidates will be permanently employed. “Six jobs were created for six months during the construction phase of the project. Thereafter, two full time jobs have been created to run the 30KW plant. These include the maintenance and repairs of the plant as well as the process of harvesting material, gathering it, transporting it and feeding it to the digester as well as spreading the digestate onto the fields,” said Sinefu.
He also mentioned that the funding from Invotech and TIA has fast-tracked the progress of this project. “The funding assisted the project in being completed in a far shorter time frame and within its scope. This has fast tracked the testing phase and has brought the company to a readiness stage a lot sooner than would have been the case without it,” he said.
When asked about the future of the project, he said in the coming years, it will be the leader in sugarcane to biogas technology and concepts. “The company will now start to specialize in rolling the power plants out and in developing the concept further,” he said.
Pictured: Invotech logo.