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GE'S Jenbacher Gen-Sets to Power South Africa's First Landfill Methane Plants

 

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South Africa's first landfill methane gas-to energy projects, powered by GE Energy's (NYSE: GE - News) Jenbacher generator sets, will be commissioned at two sites near the city of Durban on the country's east coast in early 2007. The plants are in the municipal region of eThekwini, which in Zulu means "in the place of the bay." The plants, at the La Mercy and Mariannhill landfills, will serve as renewable energy reference projects, providing much-needed electricity to the municipal grid. Meanwhile, funds from the sale of carbon credits - which was the key to making the project economically viable -also will be used in part for community upgrades.

For the La Mercy and Mariannhill power plants, GE supplied two containerized gen-sets to the projects' contractor, Envitech Solutions (Pty) Ltd of Benoni, South Africa. Envitech Solutions installed the Jenbacher units and gas extraction equipment on behalf of Durban Solid Waste (DSW), which operates the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality's solid waste disposal and owns both landfill sites.

For La Mercy, Envitech Solutions installed a Jenbacher JGC 312 GS-L.L. gen-set and for Mariannhill, a JGC 320 GS-L.L. unit. Electrical output for the JGC 320 unit is 1,064 kW and 526 kW for the JGC 312 unit. Electrical efficiency for each unit is 40.8% and 39.1%, respectively.

By utilizing the landfills' methane for energy, less of the gas will be able to escape into the atmosphere. Methane has 21 times the greenhouse warming potential of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas most closely identified with climate change. Along with greenhouse gas abatement, this eThekwini Metro project is expected to improve local air and groundwater quality.

"GE Energy is honored to provide the gas engine equipment for South Africa's inaugural landfill energy projects and to support the country's strong commitment to expanding the production and use of renewable energy," said Prady Iyyanki, CEO of GE Energy's Jenbacher gas engine business.

In 2006, GE announced its Jenbacher landfill gas technology - in addition to its biogas and coal mine gas solutions - had been certified as an ecomagination product. Ecomagination is GE's commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water.

For future projects, GE is well represented in the country through its regional equipment sales and service provider for Jenbacher gas engines, Agaricus Trading cc.

GE Energy's Jenbacher gas engine business is a leading manufacturer of gas-fueled reciprocating engines, packaged generator sets and cogeneration systems for power generation. GE's Jenbacher gas engines run on natural gas or a variety of specialty waste gases, including landfill gas

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