Restarting the largest wood pellet export plant in Africa

By | 2020-12-04T07:36:23+00:00 December 4th, 2020|

Hive Energy (United Kingdom), iLive Sustainable Development (South Africa) and Partners for Innovation (Netherlands) have joined forces to establish Coega Biomass Centre.

Lunga Limba, executive director of Coega Biomass Centre (right) and Colin Loubser – managing director Hive Energy Africa and at the Coega Biomass Centre Plant in the Special Economic Zone, Port Elizabeth, South Africa Credit: CBC

Lunga Limba, executive director of Coega Biomass Centre (right) and Colin Loubser – managing director Hive Energy Africa and at the Coega Biomass Centre Plant in the Special Economic Zone, Port Elizabeth, South Africa Credit: CBC

The company, funded by Hive Energy, has taken over and will restore the existing non-operational plant to produce high quality wood pellets using biomass residues, non-indigenous forest and destructive invasive vegetation, restoring indigenous vegetation, improving water supplies and providing cleaner burning fuel to replace dirty coal, charcoal and anthracite.

The new venture aims to illustrate the viability of the parties’ innovative approach to establishing sustainable biomass supply chains with a positive impact to the environment that unlocks more end-uses for the global market.

The initiative will commence with wood pellet production that is suitable to be used in many applications – from home boilers for heating and cleaner domestic cooking to industrial furnaces for steam generation and for power production.

Coega Biomass Centre will undertake a full refurbishment of the Biomass plant, which is expected to take nine months, and thereafter develop production capacity to eventually produce as much as 120 000t of white pellets annually.

An estimated 200 000t of equivalent coal CO₂ per annum could be offset with biomass pellets produced by Coega Biomass Centre.

When fully operational, the plant will provide over 100 direct jobs with another 700 indirect jobs generated such as surveying, training, harvesting, collection, transportation and processing of biomass inputs.

Coega Biomass Centre (CBC) is also conducting a feasibility study to introduce new drying and torrefaction technologies to produce black pellets. The range of feedstocks used to produce black pellets is broad and enables the beneficiation of biomass residues – such as forestry residues that would otherwise being left in the plantations to rot, producing methane which has a very high green-house gas impact.