Italian oil company intends to harness Kenyan waste materials

18 05 2024 | 22:55 Chinedu Okafor

An Italian firm is looking to harness Kenya’s biogas. The company intends to establish a biogas facility that will use trash dumps from five large landfills across the country to generate energy for households. This idea is coming from an energy company that has existed in Kenya for decades.

  • Italian firm Eni Kenya BV plans a biogas facility using landfill waste for household energy.
  • A feasibility study by Eni confirms viability, awaiting government approval.
  • The initiative aims to address environmental hazards while providing sustainable energy solutions.

A feasibility analysis undertaken by the Italian oil company Eni Kenya BV concluded that establishing a biogas facility in Kenya was practical. Eni Kenya BV is now awaiting government authorization to develop the facility after submitting its proposal, as seen in the Kenyan newspaper BusinessDaily.

“In 2023, in support of the subsidiary Eni Kenya BV, Eni Rewind conducted a feasibility study aimed at assessing the potential for biogas production in five urban waste landfills located in Kenya,” the firm disclosed in its latest annual report.

“The feasibility study concluded in October 2023 and discussions with local authorities are ongoing to define the next steps of the project,” the report added.

Eni formerly known as Agip intends to turn dumpsites across the country which have become an environmental hazard and an eyesore into a source of energy for households.

These dumpsites are spread across the country, the most notable of which is found in the capital city of Nairobi popularly known as the Dandora dumpsite.

Having been established in the country decades ago, Eni currently runs a biofuel plant in Makueni which has an installed capacity of 15,000 metric tonnes. It also boasts oil and gas interests in numerous oil blocks totally, 35,724 acres.

In the absence of oxygen, microorganisms break down organic materials, such as food or animal manure, to generate biogas, a sustainable fuel. This process is known as anaerobic digestion. For this to occur, the waste material must be contained in an oxygen-free environment.