NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Sustainable consumption and production of biofuel in Uganda [NDF C62 B 11]

Photo: Anja Nysten
Photo: Anja Nysten
1.04.2015
The project will introduce a low cost technology that enables bioethanol production at small scale sugar plants in Uganda.

Uganda
Sustainable consumption and production of biofuel in Uganda
Ref: NDF C62 B 11

Nordic Partner: Aalborg University, Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering
Local Partners: Alam Group, Makerere University ‑ Centre for Research in energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC)
Other Partner: Scale Biofuel ApS, Hybrid Energy A/S
Total Project Cost: EUR 390,000
NCF Financing: EUR 278,000
Agreement Signed: 27 March 2015
Project Classification: Mitigation
Duration: 18 Months

Project Objective

The overall objective of the project is to introduce sustainable consumption and production of bioethanol applied in the transport sector and as cooking fuel in Uganda and to identify and mitigate potential barriers. This is expected to reduce the deforestation rate in Uganda, enhance health due to less indoor air pollution and create local employment opportunities in new value chains.

Description

The project will introduce a low cost and scalable technology that enables bioethanol production at a competitive price both for the transport as well as for the cooking fuel market. The project entails the establishment of two modular units that will be the basis for developing a full scale production plant that is expected to be able to produce up to 14 million litres of bioethanol annually in the planned scaling-up phase of the project. The project will use sugarcane bagasse and other waste from the sugar industry as biomass. Today, Uganda’s sugar manufacturing industry is concentrated in the Jinja, Rakai and Masindi districts. The introduction of a low cost and scalable technology for bioethanol production can easily be scaled up to all Uganda’s relatively small sugar plants due to the scalable technology. Finally, the project will also develop a national plan for scaling-up applicable for the large number of small sugar factories in Uganda.

The project is expected to deliver the following main outputs:

(i) The construction and establishment of two low-cost, scalable and modular bioethanol production units with an estimated capacity of 200,000 litres/year at the Kaliro Sugar Factory;

(ii) Introduction of sustainable use of bioethanol as cooking fuel in Kaliro District;

(iii) National expansion plan of biofuel in Uganda.

Relevance for Climate Change

Increased use of bioethanol in Uganda is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diminishing the use of gasoline and reducing deforestation. The pilot activities would GHG emissions reduce up to 450 t/a, but the targeted scaling-up activities would have notable mitigation impacts. In addition, the indirect impact of reduced deforestation will create further emission reductions.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

The technology applied is innovative being a low cost, scalable, almost GHG free, with no waste streams since the remaining biomass applied as animal feed and to substantiate local development. The scalability of the technology compared to conventional technology presents an opportunity to establish decentralized production structures at a cost efficient level, where blackstrap molasses is regarded as a waste product in Uganda. The new way of using of solar heat to drive the production process will further reduce the CO2 emissions.
 

Key recent milestones achieved as of February 2017

  • A preliminary ethanol production established at Kaliro Sugar and the bioethanol (96%) produced for initial testing of the product (as cooking fuel and sanitizer used at the Kaliro Health Clinic).
  • A number of cookstoves procured, and initial testing of stoves and fuel undertaken
  • Scale Biofuel Ltd. registered in Uganda
  • A background analysis undertaken serving as the base for a business plan for bioethanol and national expansion plan
  • Stakeholder interactions undertaken

More information

Aalborg University, Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering
Alam Group
Centre for Research in energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), Makerere University
Scale Biofuel ApS
Hybrid Energy A/S