Energy in Africa

“Cogen for Africa” Initiative

Published: 19-JUL-07

The “Cogen for Africa” project is an innovative and first-of-its kind-regional initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) designed to support small, medium and large-scale industries in Africa to develop their cogeneration potential. This initiative is supported by the GEF via the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Energy, Environment and Development Network for Africa (AFREPREN/FWD) is the executing agency for the project.

Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of energy, heat and power from a single energy system and source. Cogeneration is also known as combined heat and power (CHP) technology. In a cogeneration plant, very high efficiency levels, in the range of 75-90 percent can be reached. Since cogeneration can meet both power and heat needs, it has other advantages such as significant cost savings for the plant and reduction in emissions of pollutants due to reduced fuel consumption. The potential for cogeneration is attractive in industries with joint requirement of heat and electricity, primarily agro-industries such as sugar, rice mills, wood, coconut, palm oil, pulp & paper industries as well as other industries such as fertilizers, steel, chemical, cement, pulp and paper, and aluminum.

Cogen for Africa – Replicating Successes

Set to run for 6 years, the project will build on the success of cogeneration in Mauritius, which currently meets close to 40 percent of its electricity supply from cogeneration. The project aims to significantly scale up the use of efficient cogeneration systems initially in seven Eastern and Southern African countries namely Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Swaziland and Uganda. The project will also take on board relevant elements of the European Commission- supported regional cogeneration programme in Southeast Asia, which has been successful in promoting numerous efficient cogeneration installations.

The AFREPREN/FWD “Cogen for Africa” project will work with promising and profitable agro-industries with a solid track record that have demonstrated commitment to expanding their cogeneration investments in Africa. Notable agro-industries that are expected to actively participate in the project include private-sector owned and profitable sugar companies as well as private sector entities involved in agro-processing industries such as pulp and paper, forest products, palm oil, groundnuts, sisal and rice.

Targets and Milestones

During the initial six years, “Cogen for Africa” is expected to lead to the development of 40MW of modern and more efficient cogeneration capacity through the installation of full-scale promotion projects (FSPPs). By the end of the six-years, the project is expected to have set the stage for accelerated cogeneration investments through the promotional projects. Another 20MW of cogen projects will be directly supported through the provision of advice, services and training. Beyond the initial six-year phase, AFREPREN/FWD “Cogen for Africa” Project is expected to stimulate the installation of an additional 200MW of cogeneration capacity in the medium to long term.

-Business in Africa Online

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