This unit produces electricity from solid and agricultural wastes and is located in the village of Qalhana in Fayoum Governorate. The gasification unit was implemented within the framework of the "Sustainable Investment in Solid and Agricultural Wastes” project which promotes effective management of natural resources. Improving solid and agricultural waste management leads to the generation of income and job creation.
The Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) implemented the project with funding from the European Union and the support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Fayoum Governorate. This project is indeed part of the larger European Union - Joint Rural Development Programme (EU-JRDP), an “area-based” initiative that took place from 2014 to 2020 in the governorates of Matrouh, Minya and Fayoum. EU-JRDP was implemented by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Development, through the Italian Embassy in Egypt with the technical assistance of the Italian Agency for Cooperation (AICS), allocating (€ 11.0 M) to the project. The European Union (EU) has allocated a grant of (€ 21.9 M) for this project.
The gasification unit was established in the village of Qalhana in Fayoum Governorate. It is a facility composed of an anaerobic gasification system that converts all types of waste (household waste and municipal waste - agricultural waste and other wastes except for iron) into biogas used in the production of clean energy and organic fertilizers.
The unit contributes to clean agriculture and protects the environment from pollution. It aims at a safe disposal of all kinds of waste, using an advanced technological system with a return on investment that ensures the continuity and sustainability of the waste management system and limits the spread of infectious diseases, the spread of mosquitoes, and the random burning of waste causing air pollution. Equally important, the unit reduces the diffusion of methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas generated from the anaerobic fermentation of the accumulated organic waste.
The Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt, Christian Berger said: “The gasification unit we are inaugurating today introduces for the first time in Egypt such innovative technology of transforming waste into energy and fertilizers. It is our response to the challenges posed by plastic waste in the rural area. This is an excellent example of cooperation in support of Egypt’s Sustainable Development Goals that will lead to concrete results for climate change, but also in creating good job opportunities.”
Dr. Amr Abdel Megueed, Director of the Environmental Governance Program at CEDARRE, said: “The economic importance of this gasification unit lies in the fact that it converts 100 kilograms / hour of waste into 100 kilowatt hours of electrical energy (at a minimum) by using the gas generated from the anaerobic gasification process to operate an electricity generator. The electricity produced can be connected to the electricity grid. The unit as well, converts about 25-30% of the system's inputs into biocarbon, which is used as fertilizer for agricultural lands and is considered as bests of its kind. The unit serves about 5,000 people from the village of Qalhana.
The project has also trained and empowered 100 young men and women and developed their skills to be qualified as entrepreneurs in the field of waste investment. The project also provided 30 job opportunities for young men and women from Fayoum and Minya to work in the field of wastes recycling, and trained women to separate wastes at source. This helped more than 500 women in the villages in which the project worked to separate the recyclable waste and sell it to merchants and benefit from the revenue generated.