The initial capital investment for a biogas plant is high with a fairly long payback period of 5-8 years.
Plant cost is normally divided into 3 components: the digester itself, the biogas generator and the balance made up of civil, mechanical and electrical installations. Based on the current factors such as capital cost of the plant, operating costs, electricity tariffs (Eskom and municipal), biogas plants in South Africa only starts showing financial viability from a 350kWe plant upwards.
This means that most farming operations in SA would not be able to establish a financially viable biogas project. BiogasSA is actively developing a biogas solution specific for the farmer which is practical and cost effective, allowing the farmer to participate in the actual construction of the plant, thus reducing costs considerably. BiogasSA is also developing a locally produced dual fuel generator that can run on diesel and biogas, thus eliminating the need to buy and operate 2 separate generators.