Premier Zille Launches R400m Waste to Energy Plant – an African First | Western Cape Government



Premier Zille Launches R400m Waste to Energy Plant – an African First

25 January 2017

Premier Helen Zille today launched a R400 million waste to energy plant in Athlone, Cape Town. The Premier was joined by City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.

The New Horizons Energy plant will process more than 500 tons of municipal solid waste, wet trade waste and pure organic waste into environmentally considerate energy and recycled bi-products. The plant is the first of its kind in Africa.

The project will create an estimated 500 indirect jobs, and 80 direct jobs.

Collected waste material from homes across the City will be converted into:


·         Bio gas (methane) – 18 000 litres of diesel equivalent per day, to be used by key partners AFROX;

·       Carbon Dioxide: 20 tonnes, approximately 11 000 litres per day, also to be sold to AFROX;

·     Digestate: 70% of organic (waste) becomes digestate, to be used in composting; and

·        Recyclables: 40-50 tonnes a day.

New Horizons Energy has been working in partnership with the Western Cape Government’s funded entity, Green Cape – which has provided the necessary technical support. At the same time, Green Cape is working with other municipalities and businesses across the Province to roll out similar initiatives.  

Premier Zille said: “This project aligns with the province’s Energy Security Game Changer, focused on creating the energy security needed for economic growth.”

“South Africa’s energy crisis requires a sustainable, diverse energy-mix. We are aiming to make our vision of an energy secure province a reality by 2020.”

“It is a four-fold win: cheaper electricity prices, lower carbon emissions, more foreign investment and more industrialisation. This ultimately means more local jobs.”

Some of the milestones in the Energy Game Changer achieved to date include the following:

  • Small-scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) systems in place for five local municipalities allowing residents to generate electricity and feed it back into the grid.
  • Thirteen local municipalities in the Province also now have legal frameworks in place to enable SSEG – this will allow residents and businesses to be compensated for energy fed back into the grid from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
  • Nine of these local municipalities have approved SSEG tariffs in place (legal framework plus tariff approval by NERSA).

Premier Zille said: “The Western Cape is now home to nine out of 12 municipalities with approved tariffs for residents to feed power back into the grid. A further goal is to promote the installation of solar water heating devices in homes and businesses across the Province. To date 60 000 solar water heaters and heat pumps have been installed.”

“There are enormous economic advantages to renewable technologies, combined with natural gas. We will keep making progress on this crucial game changer.”

Media Enquiries: 

Michael Mpofu
Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille
071 564 5427
021 483 4584