While Namibia still imports most of its electricity from South Africa and other countries in southern Africa, a number of new power stations, including renewables (solar and wind) are coming to the fore. Now, Namib Poultry Industries (NPI), in collaboration with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) has taken renewable energy a step further with an ambitious project to convert chicken manure into electricity. NPI’s Project Manager for Infrastructure, Helgo Horsthemke, explains that through its Namib Biogas plant, NPI will have the capacity to produce 4.65 MW of electricity. To achieve this feat, the NPI plant will use 40 tons of chicken waste per day that will be converted into more than 9 000 cubic metres of biogas and 34 tons of dry fertilizer every day.
“The biogas can be turned into electricity. At the same time, the plant will reduce the amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) released into the air by 23 300 tons per year,” said Horsthemke.
Moreover, using renewable energy sources is one way that NPI can lower its Namibian carbon footprint. Biogas is indeed a form of renewable energy as it is produced from organic waste, which is a renewable material. Also, the biogas project combines already existing technology in an innovative way. Said Horsthemke: “Part of the energy is produced by using solar power. The solar plant, worth about 25% of the total plant, is already under construction. However, the sun only gives energy during the day, whereas biogas can be harvested 24/7.” Horsthemke continued that NPI is sourcing funding for the project, apart from the solar plant for which funding is already secured.
“We are a part of a larger project concept which also involves academia. The Engineering Department of Namibia University of Science and Technology is currently running a home-made pilot biogas reactor that serves to provide iimportant research data for establishing a larger industrial-scale solution,” Horsthemke stated. When asked how the idea originated, Horsthemke said it started with health inspectors instructing NPI to purify its wastewater, which at the time was deemed an environmental risk. To comply, NPI established a reverse-osmosis water purification plant that enables the recycling of water about six times. “That also made us think about the bio waste that we are producing and how we could utilise it. Seeing how climate change was affecting Namibia, we thought that we could use the manure to make energy out of it,” Horsthemke stated. Climate change is caused by warming of the atmosphere, which is caused by increased emissions of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, into the air.
Greenhouse gases are produced by human activities, such as traffic, industry and cattle farming. “As Namibia is a small country, we do not contribute much to global climate change. Because climate knows no boundaries, we are unfortunately suffering from it. We, therefore, need to join the fight against climate change and we do this by lowering our carbon dioxide emissions or our carbon footprint,” Horsthemke explained.

Meanwhile, Namibia still generates less than half of the energy it consumes. National power utility, NamPower, operates a number of generation facilities. But the country’s generation facilities rarely, if ever, produce at full capacity to even come close to the peak demand of over 600 MW. Namibia has historically relied on imported power from South Africa’s Eskom, which itself has been under tremendous strain in recent years. This prompted Namibia to diversify its sources of imported power over the short-term by signing power purchase agreements with utilities in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mozambique. NamPower has, however, committed over the long-term to making Namibia energy self-sufficient and eventually a net exporter of power by building new domestic generation capacity. To aid in this goal, NamPower is also considering proposals for a number of other new power stations, including renewable energy.
-Source: http:newreralive.na/post/Chicken-manure electricity .