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21.10.2013 General News

Ghana Biogas Plant Demonstration Project for Kumasi Abattoir

A pilot biogas project to serve as a catalyst for other projects across the country and the West Africa sub region has been initiated at the Kumasi Abattoir.

The three-year project, titled 'Supporting green industrial development in Ghana: Biogas technology and business for sustainable growth', is being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea and the Korea Institute of Energy, Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP).

Collaborating are the ministries of Trade and Industry (MOTI) and Energy (MoE), Ghana; the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The executing agencies of the project are the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), while The Energy Centre (TEC), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), are hosts.

These were disclosed by Mr Edward A. Awafo TEC, KNUST and the National Project Coordinator, at a stakeholder consultation workshop held in Accra today (Friday).

The consultation workshop was part of the processes to receive inputs from various stakeholders and see to the successful implementation of the project once the structures were put in place at the Kumasi Abattoir.

Project Objectives
According to Mr Edward Awafo, the objectives of the project, which would be undertaken with a budget of GH₵3,815,469 (€1,280,000) comprising GH₵3,189,493 (€1,070,000) from MOTIE and Daewoo and GH₵625,890 (€210,000) from UNIDO, are to increase access to sustainable energy for productive uses in Ghana and contribute to inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

The Energy Centre would also make an in-kind contribution valued at GH₵596,167 (€200,000).

He said the project was also aimed at transfering biogas technology between Korea and Ghana.

The National Coordinator said the project's components include providing a business case for industrial-scale biogas applications - demonstrated and promoted, ensuring an industry-led research on appropriate technologies and feedstock for optimum biogas production and raising public and political awareness and interest regarding the benefits of biogas.

He said currently, the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) was being set up at TEC -KNUST, while the conceptual design of the pilot plant was being discussed and would be shared with stakeholders for broader consultation.

Mr Awafo said after this, modalities for conducting targeted trainings for biogas companies would be developed.

A Project Steering Committee (PSC) would also be established to periodically review and monitor progress of the project, facilitate coordination between project partners, provide transparency and guidance and ensure support and sustainability of the project results.

UNIDO and KNUST are also responsible for the establishment of a Biogas Business Association (BBA) to bring together all biogas entrepreneurs under a common umbrella.

Government's Target
Speaking on the topic 'Green Industrial Programmes and Projects in Ghana: Synergies with Project Activities' Mr Kwabena A. Otu-Danquah, Energy Commission, said government's target was to attain 10 per cent renewable energy (RE) in the national energy mix by 2020.

He also said the overall objective of the Regional Energy Efficient (EE) policy was to improve energy efficiency in the ECOWAS Region to levels of international standard by 2020.

The specific targets of the regional policy are to implement efficiency measures that free-up 2000 MW of power generation capacity by 2020, phase out inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020; ensure the entire ECOWAS population have access to efficient, sustainable and modern cooking fuels and equipment by 2030.

He said 'the project is well anchored in the Government of Ghana strategy for the development of the biogas sector and ECREEE's programmes and therefore the need to forge closer collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, the energy Commission and ECREEE in the implementation of the project.'

Stakeholders were of the view that 'Given the relevance of the biogas technology to the greater ECOWAS region, it is foreseen that Ghana will serve as the centre of excellence and partner with ECREEE to scale-up and disseminate the outcomes and successes of industrial biogas application in the ECOWAS region.'

Why Kumasi Abattoir?
Taking turns to explain the choice of the Kumasi Abbatoir for the pilot, Prof Ahmad Addo, KNUST and Mr Alois Mhlanga, UNIDO said it was because of the Abbatoir's environmental impact on the population, the ready availability of feedstock needed for the project and the difficulty of disposing of waste water, which could all feed the biogas plant. They also maintained that biogas at household levels was always a problem.

Project Manager, Sunyoung Suh, UNIDO, in an interview with the Daily Graphic said the project was the first of its kind in Ghana in terms of technology transfer, which the country was receiving from Korea with modifications to suit the local condition.

She said hitherto, the Overseas Development Agency (ODA) funding lowered expectations which made projects unsustainable.

By Edmund Smith-Asante/Daily Graphic/Ghana