Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Ethiopia will generate as much as 30% of its electricity from waste in 2018

Following the attention received by a 50 year old dump site in Ethiopia after a deadly landslide killed about 114 persons, the dumpsite would be put to good use with a new waste-to-energy plant, Reppie, which is underway.

Ethiopia’s waste-to energy plant would be the first of its kind in Africa and it is expected to deal with 1,400 waste daily, a figure gotten from about 80% of refuse generated daily in Addis Ababa alone, (the nations capital). Solid waste generation, per capita in Addis Ababa amounts 0.4kg/c/day.

Unlike other booming African cities with waste management challenges, Addis Ababa does not have a modest way to dispose its garbage.

As an immediate means to address air pollution and also embrace renewable energy across all sectors of the economy the project Reppie came to be.

The plant hopes to supply 30% of electricity needed for household use and promises to adhere to global standards on air emissions. Each year, more than 200,000t are collected (about 550t/day). The municipality increased the collection rate from 60% to 80% .

Building the energy plant came as a result of partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and a consortium of international companies; Cambridge Industries limited, China National Electric Engineering and  Ramboll (a Danish Engineering firm).

The consortium was established to design, construct and in some case own energy-to-waste facilities customized for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Project Reppie is considered a quadripple win as it not only saves land, it also generates electricity while preventing the release of toxic materials into groundwater and it also reduces the release of Methane (a green house gas generated in landfills) into the atmosphere.

Waste-to-energy uses trash as a fuel for generating power, just as other power plants use coal, oil, or natural gas. The burning fuel heats water into steam that drives a turbine to create electricity. The process can reduce a community’s landfill volume by up to 90 percent, and prevent one ton of carbon dioxide release for every ton of waste burned.