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USTDA Supports South African Waste-to-Energy Project

Friday, June 10, 2016

(USTDA)  Johannesburg, South Africa – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to MBHE African Power (Pty) Ltd, a South African renewable energy project developer, to support a waste-to-energy project in the Drakenstein Municipality. The objective is to alleviate the burden of the depleting landfill airspace while also easing constraints on South Africa’s electricity supply. The project has the potential to divert up to 500 tons of solid waste per day from the landfill to the plant, which is expected to produce around 12.6 megawatts of electricity.

The public-private partnership, including Drakenstein Municipality and Interwaste (Pty) Ltd, a local waste management company -- with MBHE as joint developer -- will implement the project.

The grant was signed by USTDA’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Lida Fitts and MBHE’s Director, Karl Siegel during the 2016 Infrastructure Africa Conference in Johannesburg.

“USTDA is pleased to support U.S. private sector participation in what is anticipated to be South Africa’s first waste-to-energy plant,” Ms. Fitts said. “In addition to increasing local access to affordable, reliable electricity and reducing landfilled waste, the project will help create clean energy jobs in both the United States and South Africa.”

“MBHE wishes to thank USTDA for their contribution to the development of the project,” stated Mr. Siegel. “The development process will serve as a blueprint for future waste-to-energy projects in Southern Africa and aims to solve a national waste management problem in alleviating the burden on ever depleting landfill airspace.”

Black & Veatch Corporation (Overland Park, KS) was selected to provide the technical assistance, which will include fuel characterization, front end engineering and design, and tender support for the engineering, procurement, construction and operations and maintenance contracts. MBHE is also conducting additional specialist studies and a full Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in parallel with the technical assistance.

This partnership supports the goals of Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led initiative to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections.