Tanzania to double sisal-fired biogas capacity

Sunday July 03 2011

Tanzania Sisal Board plans to increase the participation of smallholders and out growers farmers from 419 households in 2010 to 4,440 households and a total of 22,200 hectors will be will be put under the proposed scheme.

Tanzania’s sisal fired biogas power capacity is set to nearly double as the country’s sisal board steps up its drive to develop clean energy from the crop.

Hamis Mapinda, acting director general of Tanzania Sisal Board said last week that the company is investing $31 million to increase the capacity of its Biogas electricity plant.

Studies show that Hale Sisal plantation in Tanga in the northern coastal area of the country could provide approximately 7000 kilowatts of clean sisal energy each year that will be fed into the country national grid.

Deogratias Ruhinda, research officer TSB told The EastAfrican last week that the study has confirmed that sisal can produce biogas which can be used to produce electricity.

Mr Ruhinda said the Hale estate power plant, installed as a pilot project in Tanzania, has successfully generated about 300KW of electricity from sisal fired biogas for 10 years now.

TSB expects to modify utilisation and increase generation to upto one Megwatt of electricity from sisal.


Mr Ruhinda, said TSB is planning to increase the utilisation of the sisal plantations from the current level of two percent to at least 50 percent within the next 10 years.

Mr Mapinda said the investment would see the plant at Hale increase its capacity from 500KW to 7000KW using 14 sisal biogas plants.

The 14 estates that have been earmarked for biogas to electricity production include Gomba estate, Rudewa estate and Mkumbara estate.

TSB proposed to increase the cultivation of sisal from the 4,516,515 hectares to 14,606,169 hectares of sisal for development.
According to TSB the new plant will cost about $160,235,674.

Nine per cent funding will be met by the government while other shareholders will contribute 25 per cent of the funding.