A Kenya enterprenuer wishes to draw your attention to a very possibly lucrative field that has had less than adequate investment attention than it deserves.It involves harvesting and use of water hyacinth for different uses,especially biogas generation. (For extensive further details,please Google “Water Hyacinth in Lake Victoria”) .
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amount to be involved varies immensely,but could start from few thousand dollars only upwards.Water hyacinth (eichornia crisspes) is a noxious weed that covers over 60,000 hectares (about 132,000 acres) of water in Lake Victoria,where it has grown especially over the last two decades,adversely affecting lives of over 300,000 people.Estimated losses in one day from the weed is Sh16million/$160,000.(US$1=Sh103;€1=Sh110;£1=Sh129).It kills fish and renders impossible boat rides for tourists and transport.One acre alone of water hyacinth,being highly prolific,with capacity to double every ten days, (due to increased pollution from various sources)in one year can generate two hundred tons of the weed in dry matter.One kilogram of water hyacinth is estimated to generate (after decomposition),249 cubic meters of biogas.It means that from one acre,there can be generation of 49.8 million cubic meters in a year. From the 132,000 acres a total of 6,573,600,000,000cubic meters.One tonne is 1,450 cubic meters approx.
An oil explorer (Reliance Industries,India)spent $8 bn on a gas field that would provide 80 million cubic meters of gas a day,with expected lifespan of field being 20 years.It means $100 was cost of producing 1 cubic meter per day over the 20 year life of the field.With water hyacinth-to-biogas,expected revenues (from the $100 cost) could be much higher.Use as fertilizer is an added advantage.The cost of eradicating it,by manual labour,let us assume,is $100 per month.This labour assumes the worker harvests 50kg (at least) in a day.This means daily,some 1,245 cubic meters is generated.(Whatever numbers of casual labour involved,so long as they harvest less than 13,200 acres/6,000 hectares in a day,there should be theoretically speaking,a perpetual source of raw material of water hyacinth.) This maximum employment for perpetual generation is 600,000 people in any one day.(A machine costing $800,000 for harvesting is idle; even if were active,it has capacity to harvest 150 tonnes ,or 10 hectares a day so, needs 6,000 days to complete or 16 years:assuming NO regeneration occurs!)It takes 100 people to harvest one hectare of the weed. Government is to allocate Sh200 mn ($2mn) to get rid of the weed.The price of biogas/gas is assumed to be near the industry benchmark of Henry Hub at $2 per unit,(one unit is one million British Thermal Units which is 1,000 cubic feet or 36 cubic meters). So $1 is 18 cubic meters.What we are paying in labour in a month,we get 373,500 cubic meters; $1 earns revenue of $1800.Even after deduction of costs,we should remain comfortably in the black.
“Waste material” is good fertilizer.Generated gas can be used in cooking,water heating,refrigeration and running engines like water pumps,generators,agricultural implements,saw mills,factories,etc.We may substitute a portion of the 4.4 billion liters of fuel Kenya uses,in a year.One commercial operation to can(bottle) biogas started in Lake Naivasha at least a year ago.Biogas-run refuse trucks run (from sites they deliver to) in Los Angeles,USA; Compre ssed natural gas buses run in New Delhi,India and a biogas-fired train has been running in Sweden since 2006.Qatar boasts it’s having the highest per capita GDP of $134,500 pa from LNG,and hundreds billions of US dollars are being,or have been poured into the industry in Australia.Utilising biogas may change fortunes if adequately backed.
Scale of investments in Kenya varies immensely: opportunities seem almost endless.
This effort on my part only supplements a project involving all Kenyans froma low level that I am launching.
My email: email@example.com
Amount involved may start from as low as $1,000 upwards.Scalability of project is high.