Biomass power generation

“ELB Engineering Services (ELB) turned to power and large industrial projects as the decline in commodity prices led to fewer capital projects in that sector”, says Dr Stephen Meijers, chief executive of ELB in an interview with Energize.

Dr Stephen Meijers

It was recently announced that the ELB-KCC Consortium (consisting of ELB, KC Cottrell and the ELB Educational Trust – “The Consortium”) have been appointed as the EPC contractor for the 25 MW Biomass project by Ngodwana Energy (RF).

The scope of work is to supply a 25 MW biomass power plant which will use commercial forest waste material from the surrounding plantations to generate power, to feed into the national grid. The power plant burns the biomass in a boiler to generate steam and drive a turbine to generate electricity. A high efficiency air pollution control system will be utilised on the boiler flue gas to ensure the emissions are well below the new SA requirements.

KC Cottrell, a Korea based global leader in the energy and environmental business provides engineering, procurement, construction (EPC), operation and maintenance (O&M) and other services with proven technology and know-how into various industries such as power plants from renewable energy sources, waste incineration plants and air pollution control plants. “We are proud to have become a consortium member of the EPC Contractor for the 25 MW Ngodwana project, which would be the first biomass REIPPP project in South Africa. Moreover, we are happy to contribute to the local economy in the Mpumalanga region through this project and to meet good partners in South Africa including ELB”, says DY Seo, CEO and President of KC Cottrell.

ELB Educational Trust, also part of the Consortium, provides university scholarships for previously disadvantaged students throughout South Africa.

Another interesting power project involves the removal of water hyacinth from a lake, which is then digested to produce biogas, which can be upgraded and sold or used to generate electricity and heat in a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant.

According to Meijers, water hyacinth and other waste is readily available and is an excellent source of fuel for biomass-based energy projects.

ELB’s interest in the power sector also includes the coal-handling process, for example, Eskom’s Medupi power station near Lephalale, Limpopo.

The Medupi project, which began around ten years ago, includes transferring coal from the coal silos to the bunkers at the boilers and conveying bottom-ash and conditioned fly-ash, to the ash dump conveyors. This power station, Meijers said, is an example of excellent engineering of which South Africa can be proud. Once completed, it is expected to be one of the largest coal fired dry-cooled power stations in the world.

ELB also provides maintenance services for the coal-handling plant at Kendall power station near Ogies, Mpumalanga.

ELB has been an internationally recognised, technology driven know-how solutions provider to the mining, power, port, construction and industrial sectors. ELB has extensive engineering and project management capability which compliments its’ technology partners offering to provide turnkey solutions.

This, Meijers said, is how FEZion Power Solutions was formed. ELB, together with Fusion Energy Holdings and Zest WEG Group, recently joined efforts to address other electric power projects.

In his spare time, Meijers participates in ultra-distances running races, iron-man events and other triathlons. He plays as much sport as work allows, he said, because it helps him to manage day to day challenges.

Contact Cornel Charlton, ELB, Tel 011 772-1509,

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Source: EE plublishers

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