Nationwide Biogas Project to begin with Kumasi Abattoir
The Kumasi Abattoir is set to host a pilot biogas plant, as part of a nationwide project by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), to produce energy from bio waste.
The biogas plant would be the first in the UNIDO Biogas Project, a 1.28-million-Euro project, to boost renewable energy, and to help Ghana generate gas and electricity from agro waste.
A UNIDO delegation has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr. Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, to discuss prospects for the project.
Edward Awafo, UNIDO National Projects Coordinator, said the biogas plant which is of Korean design, would demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of the project, and was expected to provide gas for cooking and generating electricity.
“The idea is to use Kumasi as a model for the other abattoirs in the country,” Mr. Alexander Varghese, UNIDO Representative for Ghana and Togo disclosed..
Mr. Varghese said harnessing the power of agro waste and creating employment through it, was one of the key interests of UNIDO.
He said, that about 1.6 million dollars has been earmarked for the construction of biogas plants across the country, and for training and building the capacities of some stakeholders.
He noted that five to six million people in Ghana still use kerosene for lighting, and pleaded with the Minister to partner UNIDO to eliminate the use of fossil fuels for the purpose of lighting, suggesting the importation and manufacture of Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in the near future.
Mr. Oppong-Fosu reiterated his outfit’s commitment to renewable energy, and welcomed the project, since it would contribute to reducing waste.
He conceded that Ghana was faced with sanitation issues, due to a lack of capacity to manage waste. “If we can convert waste, then it is a step in the right direction,” he said.
He added that gas from the biogas plants could also enhance meat processing, since people were often in the practice of using “unorthodox” means in meat processing, such as burning slaughtered animals over tyres.
Ms. Sunyoung Suh of the Renewable and Rural Energy Unit of UNIDO, disclosed that the process of securing a local contractor to execute the project was already underway.