Due to lack of natural enemies, lack of utilization and excellent growing conditions, the plant has spread enormously. In 1998, 17,200 hectares of the lake’s surface were covered by it; by 2018, it already covered about 60,000 hectares. For years, it has been fought against in vain.
The solution will now be realized with the help of REM CAPITAL AG: The “Homa Bay Biogas” project will use water hyacinth from Lake Victoria to produce biogas and organic fertilizer as well as green electricity. Specifically, this will use anaerobic digestion as an energy-efficient method of processing biomass. The fermentation process converts water hyacinth into biogas. The microorganisms used break down the organic matter and convert the organic biomass into biogas (biomethane + biocarbon dioxide) and organic fertilizer. The energy-rich biogas is then used to generate green electricity and heat.
Agriculture benefits of it particularly, which can be farmed more sustainably in the future thanks to inexpensive organic fertilizer. In addition, 250 direct and several hundred indirect local jobs will be created. The power supply will also be stabilized for the Kenyan power grid. The amount of electricity generated can supply up to 410,000 households in Kenya with energy.
But there are further benefits: By removing water hyacinth from the lake – allowing 2,500 hectares to be continuously cleaned each year – fishermen once again will have access to the lake. Last but not least, the project will avoid around 200,000 tons of CO2 every year. This corresponds to the absorption capacity of 16 million trees per year.
REM CAPITAL AG has been commissioned to provide equity and debt financing as well as financial structuring and is also assisting with the commercial structuring of the project as well as general project development.
The project is the first biogas plant of its kind in Kenya to sustainably combine environmental measures with infrastructure development. It meets all UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is expected to be completed in 2023.