LivingFalls BioPower project good – ERB

April 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

By DOREEN NAWA
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) says the LivingFalls BioPower project in Livingstone is a commendable entry point for renewable energy in Zambia.
The project concept is to turn the water hyacinth growing in the wastewater ponds of Livingstone into biogas energy and fertiliser, thereby improving the water treatment capacity of the ponds and protecting the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls from untreated overflow from the sewerage ponds.
Speaking during a tour of the project in Livingstone on Tuesday, ERB executive director Langiwe Lungu said in order to redeem the diminishing trees due to massive charcoal production, renewable energy projects are the answer.
“This is a perfect and amazing project that uses an unwanted weed to turn it into gas that can be used for cooking, thereby replacing charcoal and other sources of energy.” Ms Lungu said.
She called on the Livingstone community, especially hotels to support the project by using biogas generated from the project.
“While most of the hotels currently use electricity [mainly from hydropower] and propane gas for cooking, a substantial part of the cooking and grilling is done on charcoal, and in particular during the frequent power cuts, the biogas can be their alternative,” Ms Lungu said.
She said projects like the LivingFalls BioPower ought to be supported for the country to address deforestation.
Charcoal consumption by the urban population is Zambia’s major contributing factor to rapid deforestation, making the country to be one of the six biggest global emitters of greenhouse gases from deforestation.
And project managing director Chisco Simweena said the project, which started in February last year, has been created as a special purpose vehicle for building and operating a medium-sized biogas based on waste management system for Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWSC) in Livingstone.
Mr Simweena said the biogas system is implemented by Southern BioPower Limited with support from Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP), managed by the Water and Sanitation Association of Zambia (WASAZA) and SWSC.
“We started selling biogas in December last year and we have 12 clients buying gas from us. We hope many will come on board and support the initiative,” he said.
Besides biogas production, the project also services 600 banana plants on a plantation using the water from biogas processing.
And ERB has expressed disappointment at the poor standard of most service stations in Southern province, particularly Livingstone, Kalomo and Choma.
Speaking on Wednesday during the tour of the province on the development and challenges in the energy sector, Ms Lungu said most service stations in the province do not take safety measures seriously.
“When setting up service stations, all safety guidelines are followed but a few years down the line, the operators tend to forget about the safety that they adhered to the first day they were issued with a licence,” Ms Lungu said.
Earlier in Livingstone, Gawula Engen service station was found with a faulty price display and the infrastructure within the station was old.
In Kalomo, Kobil Service station, the only station in the district had wet sand in buckets instead of dry sand, no stand-by generator and had no pressure, which is one of the licensing conditions for operating a service station.
Choma’s Mt Meru had better safety standards but its workforce had little knowledge on the safety tips for their personal safety and that of their customer and the general public.

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