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Cape Advanced
Engineering (Pty) Ltd

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Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. has been actively involved with the development of local technology in the design, construction and operation of biogas power generation plants since 2007 (following the publication of the 2003 White Paper on Renewable Energy and invitations from the government to the private sector to participate in the development of renewable power generation).

Prior to this, CAE’s core business activities were related to automotive development and can boast over two decades of experience in the field. A list of CAE’s biogas energy-related projects may be seen below.

2014 to present – !Aimab Superfarm biogas plant

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. has designed and constructed a biogas plant in partnership with Namibia Dairies at the !Aimab Superfarm, in Namibia. The plant has been designed to accommodate 4,000 dairy cows in a state-of-the-art milk production facility. The design maximises dairy cow manure and wash water treatment, outputting valuable odourless substrate, which is used as a high-quality agricultural bio-fertiliser. The installation showcases a turbocharged variation of the CAE bio-gas generators, which is able to produce up to 300 kW of electrical power.


2011 to present –TMR dairies biogas plant

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. has developed a new design for a plug-flow bio-digester to achieve waste treatment of manure from large total mixed ration (TMR) dairies and maximum power generation. This new design has low enough costs to enable the complete project cost to be justified against the present retail value of electricity in South Africa.

In 2013/2014, CAE built a complete biogas power generation plant (500 kVA) at a large-scale commercial dairy in the Western Cape, which also achieves appropriate waste-water treatment, pathogen control and natural fertiliser production. The project scope includes waste handling, the first fully mixed and fully heated lined lagoon bio-digester in Southern Africa, gas processing and the power plant, which is embedded in the national grid. CAE is presently still operating and maintaining this project site and continues to develop new bio-digester plant designs aimed at meeting TMR dairy-specific needs.


2007 to 2008 – Umengi Water/Darvill bio-digester feasibility evaluation

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. was contracted by Umgeni Water to evaluate their two bio-digesters at the Darvill Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) and evaluate the feasibility of power generation. Faults were identified and repaired, whereafter the plant was restored to normal operation. Electric power generation was shown to be feasible and was recommended.


2009 to 2012 – Bio-digesters for piggery waste treatment

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. has operated a bio-­‐gas power generation plant using the CAE 407 and CAE 444 engines in Bela-­‐Bela since 2009. In 2009 and 2010 the plant was operated as a ‘grid-­‐embedded power plant’ to evaluate the ability of the engines and the control technology to meet the requirements of integration with the national grid. In  2011  and  2012,  the plant and the farm which it supplies have been operated in  ‘island mode’  to evaluate the ability of the engine and the control systems to independently deliver power to a  high standard.

From 2010 to 2012, CAE has assisted the Bela-Bela biogas project with troubleshooting and operation of their foreign designed bio-digester, which has contributed to the knowledge that has been used to develop a new CAE design for a completely mixed, heated and covered in-ground anaerobic digester (CMH CIGAR), which has since been used in construction at a number of piggeries in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng. These bio-digesters achieve a cost-effectiveness, capacity and waste handling flexibility that exceeds prior designs.


2013 to present – City of Windhoek biogas plant operation and electricity generation

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. has a standing ‘Build, Operate and Maintain’ Service Agreement with the City of Windhoek in Namibia for the operation and maintenance of the City’s biogas plant at its Waste Water Treatment Works, which includes the development of automation systems for the plant, and building and operating biogas power generation plants for producing electricity for the City’s use.


2013 to 2014 – Natural gas power generation

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. supplied a 1,200 kVA CNG power generation plant to a Gauteng gas filling station operation. The plant consists of four 300 kVA CNG generator units in a modular configuration and is controlled and integrated with the power demand of the gas filling station by a central master control system.


About us

Cape Advanced Engineering (Pty) Ltd. was privatized in 1999 and has since provided engine development work and support services to clients such as Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA), Ford, and Mercedes Benz as well as equipment development for Transnet and De Beers.

In 2007, CAE made a shift to the renewable energy industry and now specializes in the design, build, commissioning, maintenance, and operation of biogas plants.

Contact Details

07h30 – 16h00 (Mon - Fri)

9 Tom Henshilwood Street, Atlantis Industrial, Atlantis, Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa, 7349

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