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20MW biomass project embarks on bankable feasibility study

Earth Energy Limited has started the process of attracting investors to commit funds towards constructing a 20MW biomass power project – the biggest in Uganda – by seeking consultants to prepare three crucial studies, among them a bankable full feasibility study.

Using funds from the Africa Development Bank, Earth Energy Limited also wants consultants to bid for the compilation of a Front End Engineering Design and a study on power evacuation for grid integration, and an independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.

The bids for the different studies are needed between November 10 and 18. Of particular interest to the company will be whether Uganda has enough resources to supply the project with biomass. At least 90 per cent of Uganda’s energy needs are from biomass, especially from firewood.

To reduce its dependence on firewood, Earth Energy will need consultants to recommend how the power plant can use biomass thermochemical conversion technologies such as gasification.

According to the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the value of Uganda’s biomass stood at $1.8bn as at the end of 2014.

Wood accounted for $1.4bn of that amount, with charcoal and agro-residues such as coffee and rice husks taking up the rest. The demand for biomass was estimated at 44.2 million tonnes.

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