The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa invites sawmills and sugar mills in Mpumalanga to participate in setting up a biorefinery in the province. Interested companies and green finance institutions will be contacted to discuss potential collaboration and implementation partnerships.

Mpumalanga is a predominantly agricultural region with 68% of its land being used for farming. The Lowveld region of Mpumalanga is a hub of agro-processing, which contributes significantly to the manufacturing sector of the province’s economy. Additionally, the province is home to major biomass processing industries such as sugar cane and forestry processing, which generate significant amounts of biomass waste. Overall, agricultural and agro-processing activities in Mpumalanga play a crucial role in the generation of biomass waste.

The NCPC-SA has done a study to identify circular economy opportunities in the agriculture and agro-processing sectors for implementation in the province. The study identified three circular economy opportunities, performed in-depth profiling, and carried out feasibility to develop a business case for one of the selected opportunities.

A feasibility study and a business case were recommended for the establishment of a Biorefinery facility. The feasibility study included market feasibility, financial feasibility as well as technical feasibility of the project. The business case justifies the implementation of the project and details how the biorefinery facility will be set up and operated.

The biorefinery facility will transform biomass into high-value products and energy in the form of steam, utilising pyrolysis technology. To set up and run the facility, funds totalling R63 million will be required. The project will also create 55 job opportunities while providing a true circular economy solution for biomass in the province.

The next step towards implementing the project is to engage with the relevant stakeholders, including biomass generators, the implementing entrepreneur for running and operating the plant, and financing institutions for funding.

For queries, please contact Sandile Khumalo at

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