News / South Africa

Nickey le Roux
2 minute read
22 Jun 2018
2:33 pm

Mossel Bay aims to be the greenest municipality in SA

Nickey le Roux

The Mossel Bay municipality plans to use wastewater and sludge from the Hartenbos Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to develop a renewable energy project.

The deputy executive mayor, Councillor Dirk Kotzé (right) and municipal manager, Advocate Thys Giliomee (third from right) with representatives of Kura Africa, David Sonnenberg, Louis Serfontein and (middle) Mark Kaplan. With them are the manager in the office of the municipal manager, Colin Puren (third from left), and the director of community services, Elize Nel. Photo: Nickey le Roux

Plans to make Mossel Bay the greenest municipality in South Africa are now one step closer to that goal.

Another meeting between Kura Africa and the municipality took place this past week to discuss a proposal to use the wastewater and sludge from the Hartenbos Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) to develop a renewable energy project, Mossel Bay Advertiser reports.

READ MORE: Nestlé launches zero-water technologies site in Mossel Bay

This followed an earlier meeting between David Sonnenberg and Louis Serfontein of Kura, where it was agreed that Kura would submit a formal proposal to the municipality.

Kura proposes a green energy renewable project to use the wastewater and sludge generated at the Hartenbos WWTP in an environmentally friendly manner to create electricity.

The Hartenbos WWTP. Image: Veolia website

On the one hand, the sludge will be transformed into energy, and on the other hand, it is proposed that the wastewater could be used to cultivate energy crops such as fast-growing grasses (banana grass, certain kinds of prickly pear, and even spekboom) as feedstock for the biomass generators. The location is proposed to be situated at the Hartenbos WWTP facility.

According to Sonnenberg, the facility will have virtually zero visual impact and little increased traffic, as the design will be able to negate these.

Kura proposes to fund the entire project that will also include a nursery to supply rural areas especially with plants to grow as feedstock for the plant on marginalised land in the area. Wastewater will be used to irrigate the energy plants that will be fed into an anaerobic digester to produce BioGas. Sludge that is currently carted away from the area may be used as compost to grow the energy crops.

Kura, which will own and manage the plant, will provide opportunities for the local community to grow the energy crops necessary to produce the BioGas.

In addition, municipal waste may also be used to produce the BioGas, offering a solution to the growing waste disposal problem that many municipalities have.

The renewable energy produced will be sold to the municipality, with any excess energy being sold to local businesses to develop green industries.

According to Sonnenberg and Serfontein, their proposal presents the opportunity for Mossel Bay to become the first local government to have a sustainable wastewater plant in the country. As a result, fossil emissions will be reduced drastically.

Furthermore, the digestate remaining will be ideal fertiliser to grow organic produce, with a community vegetable garden being a very real prospect.

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.