The Tanga-based sisal company, Katani Limited has formed an energy company, Mkonge Energy System, to specifically deal with production and selling of energy from renewable sources.
The Company’s Managing Director, Mr Salim Shamte, said the establishment of the energy company follows successful trials of power production from sisal waste at its sisal estate in Hale, Korogwe District, Tanga Region.
He said that the company has already been registered and would be jointly managed with a Chinese company with vast experience in managing small energy projects.
The plant, which was inaugurated by President Jakaya Kikwete last year, now produces 150kw of electricity enough for use in the sisal decorticating machines for 12 hours non-stop.
According to the Hale Estate General Manager, Mr Gillead Kissaka, the Hale plant has already received a Project Idea Note (PIN) and is now in the process of preparing a Project Development Document (PDD) before being registered for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) status.
“Our aim is to produce one megawatt of electricity from sisal waste which we can only use about one third and sell the rest to the national grid to expand our sources of income,” Mr Kissaka said.
According to the company�s ten year Development Plan (2008-2018), more sisal waste biogas to electricity plants are earmarked for installation almost at the rate of one 500kw per plant every year to realise its dream of producing energy from sisal waste and increasing utilisation of the plant and saving in electricity costs which comprise 40 percent of the total running costs.
“Currently we save about half of the Tanesco bill for the sisal decortications plant which stands at Sh1.5 million,” he said, adding that the company also plans to develop a mini-hydro plant at its Ngombezi Sisal Estate which would have the capacity of producing 1.6 megawatts.
The hydro plant is also another project that could fit in the CDM project.
The Hale sisal waste energy plant is now one of the 12 Tanzanian projects that are in the pipeline for getting the CDM status, which was established under the Kyoto Protocol on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Project cost was estimated at $1,500,812. Financiers include the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), UNIDO and the Tanzanian Government and the privately owned Katani Limited