SWASCO commissions biogas plant
Livingstone Feb 13/14 ZANIS——-The Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO) in Livingstone has commissioned the launch of the biogas plant project which has been developed by the Livingfalls Biopower Company of Finland.
The project,t which was started last year, is expected to be run by the Livingfalls Biopower for a period of seven years under a Build-Operate-Transfer arrangement (BOT).
“Our traditional business is in the field of water supply and waste water treatment, but with this project we will also go into the direction of treating waste water by converting it into energy and fertilizer,” said the Board Chairperson of SWASCO, Annie Tischer.
Ms Tischer noted that it was the first time that a water utility company was cooperating with the private sector in this field in Zambia.
She explained that water hyacinths had become a threat to many water bodies in this part of the world and were negatively affecting the water treatment capacity of waste water ponds resulting in the overflow into the Zambezi River.
The board chairperson also observed that if the project was successful, the company would apply this approach to other towns in Southern Province with the hope that Livingfalls Biopower could also advise other water utility companies in the country on how to implement this new approach to waste water treatment.
Meanwhile, Livingstone Town Clerk, Vivian Chikoti, said that the city council was proud that such a project, which is a first of its kind in terms of the amount of biogas produced from water weeds and in terms of people served with biogas as cooking energy, distributed through a gas pipe network with prepaid gas meters, had been launched in the tourist capital.
Ms Chikoti said this showed the benefits of the public and private sector working together to achieve common goals in the field of waste management.
She further said the project would address the threat that came from relying on charcoal as a main source of energy for cooking as this was a cause of deforestation and threatened the natural environment which everyone is dependent on.
Ms Chikoti said the city council planned to introduce biogas technology for other solid waste which could be converted into energy and fertilizer, and introduce the principle of decentralized waste management.
She explained that this would start with the new ultra-modern market where all organic waste would be disposed of in a biogas digester on site.
And one of the beneficiaries, Alberina Mwanakampwe, said that the biogas is time saving and costs less than using charcoal.