Mkonge Energy Systems Limited (MeS)

Mkonge Systems Company Limited (MeS) was incorporated in January 2008. The companyís focus is on the development of the renewable energy sector through creation and promotion of energy projects in Tanzania and other East and Central African countries.

The company is presently engaged in a number of projects for power generation from biogas, solar and hydropower with a portfolio of 192.5MW. It has since 2008 been operating the First in the World Sisal Energy Plant at its Hale estate and plans to build another biogas to electricity plant at its Mwelya and Magoma estates sisal processing facilities. MeS plan to construct these sisal power plants in other estates owned by KATANI and other sisal companies.

Environmental regulations instituted in Tanzania demand cleaning up of the sisal production process and the sisal energy project provides the solution to this recurring problem. The project will contribute to Katani's efforts to reduce the cost of production. The use of Biomethane [from biogas] as a fuel in vehicles will reduce the use of fossil fuels in sisal production process and thus reducing costs and contributing to reduced foreign exchange demand for importing diesel and petrol.

The use of the liquid effluent from the biogas production process as a fertilizer will increase crop productivity and farmers' incomes. The biogas projects on the five sisal estates will contribute additional profits of nearly 52.6% to the current mainstream sisal business.

The future of the sisal industry is bright due to new utilizations in the construction sector, in the steel sector, in the automobile sector and in the composites sector where sisal is used in reinforcing plastics and other resins. The utilization for the residual biomass [hitherto called "waste"] for energy and fertiliser has given an added advantage and momentum to invest in the sisal industry. The sisal industry in Tanzania has a vision to produce 1,000,000 tons by 2030. Katani Limited has been at the forefront in many of the sisal transformational developments. In 2009 the United Nations proclaimed an International Year of Natural Fibres to bring to the world attention in the increased importance of natural fibres [including sisal] in the world economy. This is due to their technical qualities, renewability and environmental friendliness.

Tanzania's socio-economic development requires massive investment in energy if the Vision 2025 MDGs are to be achieved. In order to become a middle income country around 15,000 MW have to be generated in the country. Likewise, significant investment in schools, teachers' houses, hospitals, rural warehouses and factories and inner city housing is needed in the face of ever increasing urbanisation. Therefore the demand for affordable housing using locally produced building materials is very high in the country thus energy supply.

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