CLEAN Energy Solutions (CES) Pacific has appointed fellow US-based company Viaspace to provide engineering and design work for a 2 megawatt biogas power plant to be fuelled by Giant King grass.

The CES facility will comprise the power plant and a plantation of the hybrid grass that is hoped to deliver reliable electricity to the grid in order to meet the customer demand profile, under a power purchase agreement from the government electricity company.

CES chief operations officer McCabe Cox said the biogas power plant would provide badly needed base load power for a remote area in Papua New Guinea.

“It is a clean and renewable alternative to oil-based electricity, and the power plant and Giant King Grass plantation provide needed jobs,” he said.

Mr Cox said the company had been working with Viaspace, which grows the grass, through its operations plan for over a year before making the decision.

“It makes sense to have our fuel supplier also involved in the design, engineering, and equipment selection for our power plant,” he said.

“Having Viaspace providing this service for our company has proven to be very efficient, practical, and cost effective.”

Viaspace’s current assignment with CES is to produce a design of the entire biogas power plant including Giant King Grass receiving areas, grass storage, fuel feeding, primary and secondary anaerobic digesters, biogas treatment and storage, engine/generators, control equipment and output transformers to the grid.

Aside from being involved with the selection of equipment suppliers and providing required specifications and quantities of materials for the project, Viaspace also provides operations, maintenance, and staffing requirements.

Viaspace chief executive Carl Kukkonen said the company was pleased to be supporting CES Pacific.

“Their project development, construction and operations expertise, and on the ground presence in PNG, combined with our specific technical expertise and Giant King Grass make a complete team,” he said.

Company chairman Kevin Schewe added that, while the project had taken a year to materialise, the company was pleased to be moving forward and playing what he said was a key supporting role.

“This project demonstrates how using Giant King Grass for anaerobic digestion can provide clean, renewable electricity for tropical island locations anywhere there is a need for electricity and a desire not to depend on fossil fuels for power production,” he said.

“In addition, the byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process is organic fertiliser to support local agriculture and the Giant King Grass plantation creates local agriculture jobs and other employment.”