Jenbachers for ethanol distillery

By Jack Burke09 August 2021

J320 gas engines used in a combined heat and power application

Clarke Energy will supply two INNIO Jenbacher biogas engines to PressCane, an ethanol distillery based in Malawi.

The production site generates biofuel in the form of ethanol which is blended with petrol and sold to motorists throughout Malawi. Their anaerobic digestion plant sustainably treats effluent arising from the site and in parallel generates biogas which will be used as a renewable fuel for the biogas engines.

Malawi’s ethanol distillery, PressCane Ltd., to generate renewable electricity and heat from biogas with help from Clarke Energy and INNIO Jenbacher.

The site produces ethanol, a biofuel, from fermented sugarcane molasses. This ethanol is then used to increase the renewable energy content of local petroleum fuels at a ratio of 20% ethanol to 80% petrol. It also reduces the country’s reliance on importation of fossil fuels for transportation.

The two INNIO Jenbacher J320 gas engines -- supplied by Clarke Energy as a combined heat and power plant -- are capable of delivering 1063 kilowatts (kW) of electricity each, bringing the total generation capacity to 2126 kW. In addition, the customer will recover heat from the engines in the form of steam via boilers with approximately 2000 kW of additional renewable heat available to support the site’s heating needs.

SS Techno Limited, India, a leading technology company in turnkey Zero Liquid Discharge systems for Industrial Wastewater, served as the project consultant. After technical and commercial assessments, Clarke Energy, a Kohler company, received the recommendation.

Press Cane Chief Operations Officer Bryson Mkhomaanthu said the utilization of biogas generated from the wastewater treatment plant will not only produce renewable power and heat for the company’s sites operations, it will also fulfil the company’s ambitions of being the leading supplier of sustainable fuels sources to the local industry.

“We selected Clarke Energy and INNIO’s Jenbacher biogas engines following a comprehensive assessment of the best partners to deliver this project in Malawi,” said J Natesan, head of Marketing at SS Techno. “Clarke Energy has extensive experience in supporting power production from distillery effluent in India and a local aftersales support network for the biogas engines in Malawi.”

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