A South African waste to energy project, whose development was supported by environmental firm, SLR Consulting, has been identified as one of the world’s most exciting infrastructure projects by KPMG.

The project includes the recovery of energy from two landfill sites, Bisasar Road and Mariannhill. The Bisasar Road site in Durban takes up to 3,500 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) every day, making it Africa’s busiest landfill site. It currently generates and exports 6.5MW into the local grid, sufficient to supply up to 40,000 homes.

Landfill gas from the Mariannhill site is combusted to generate energy for up to a further 6,000 homes. The two sites are separately registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism scheme, which also allows for the sale of carbon credits, generating an additional revenue stream for the local municipality.

“As well as providing technical expertise, SLR’s involvement with the project has included procedural input to ensure that the environmental, social and financial benefits of the scheme are fully realised,” said SLR’s technical director Bob Couth.

“It was a great collaborative effort involving SLR consultants from both the UK and SA, who worked in conjunction with eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, engineers, contractors and the Prototype Carbon Fund team at the World Bank.”

Noreen Beg of the World Bank added, “The project is one of just six from the whole of the African continent to make KPMG’s prestigious list. Its inclusion is a testament to the tireless efforts and dedication of all those who helped realise this concept and demonstrates the benefits that a truly integrated waste project can provide. Mariannhill was the first landfill gas CDM project Registered and implemented in Africa, and it has formed a precedent for delivery of landfill gas engineering and CDM projects in Africa.”