Agri-biomass processing: Chemicals, Electricity & Jobs!
The proposed first commercially viable GreenEnergyPark™ biorefinery in Western KwaZulu-Natal will use maizecobs as its biomass feedstock. First production is proposed for 2016, reaching full capacity by 2019. The target output of the biorefinery is 6,000 tpa of a biorenewable industrial chemical (furfural) and energy equivalent of min. 1 MW electricity.
The investment will be in the order of R130million and is based on the pre-feasibility study and pro-forma business plan. They will provide the foundation for the development of the project in four distinct stages. The estimated seed-funding required to develop the “roadmap” (scoping phase) is ±R2million. Harvesting cobs will increase farming production margins in the order of 5%-10% per ha. This is a strong incentive to produce more maize in KZN and supply the required cob quantity. This symbiotic relationship is central to the success of the project, which is estimated to contribute in excess of R380million per year to the KZN economy and create over 15,000 permanent jobs.
The uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ concept plan.
uThukela GreenEnergyPark™ – Investor Presentation
Creating Wealth from ag residues: Cobelec – Investor Presentation
GreenEnergyPark™: Turning corncobs into chemicals and energy is the core of the GreenEnergyPark™, which provides the infrastructure for other enterprises (most likely, but not exclusively) in the agri-processing sector.