oil and gas

Oman’s be’ah weighs biogas plants for power production

November 5, 2020

Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (be’ah), which oversees the management of the solid waste sector in the Sultanate, says it sees the potential for electricity production from biogas harnessed from organic waste presently being disposed of in municipal landfills.
Small-scale biogas plants based on this concept are planned in at least three locations in Muscat and South Al Batinah governorates, according to a key official of the state-run entity.
Zainab bint Ali Abdulkhaliq, who heads the Energy Recovery section in the company’s Business Development Department, said a feasibility study finalised by be’ah envisions the establishment of biogas plants at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), the municipal landfill in Barka, and facilities designated by the Omani Agriculture Association.
In a recent article published by the Anglo-Omani Society, a London-based charitable organisation committed to advancing Omani-British relations, the energy recovery specialist said the organic waste targeted as feedstock for the proposed biogas plants is essentially biological waste mixed with other household waste streams.
“Anaerobic digestion is a biological technology used for biogas production as an alternative source of energy. Biogas then can be used for electricity production or to be upgraded to a biofuel. A Build Operate Transfer (BOT) business model is to be adopted for commissioning the biogas plant,” she stated in the article.
Significantly, the proposal for biogas plants is among a raft of initiatives being weighed by be’ah in support of its strategy to divert waste away from landfills and into recycling and energy conversion schemes in line with internationally accepted circular economy and resource management principles.
Notable is the company’s proposal for procuring a large-scale Waste to Energy project designed to treat around 4,000 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste to generate at least 140 MW/day of electricity.
The feedstock will account for more than 60 per cent of the solid waste currently being landfilled.
“This project on its own will meet one of be’ah’s core strategic goals in terms of value recovery, besides creating additional economic and social benefits including job creation and attraction of foreign direct investments into the country. This project will be tendered in 2021 following a BOT model,” the article noted.
Similarly, fish waste currently being disposed of in landfills – a practice that poses potential public health and environmental risks – is proposed to be processed into organic liquid fertilisers and other products as a substitute to chemical fertilisers.
According to be’ah, an Omani SME specialising in fish waste management and recycling has sought permission to establish a plant based on New Zealand technology to convert fish waste into commercially valuable fertiliser.
“Be’ah’s main objective with this project is to encourage local production (ICV), value recovery, promote private sector participation, adopt best disposal practices and finally promote environmental protection and public health and safety,” the report added.

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