South Africa’s energy provision is dominated by large-scale coal operations. Moving toward cleaner and sufficient energy provision to meet the country’s domestic and economic needs, requires the exploration of innovative, alternative energy sources such as biomass, for example. Operating within a biomass plant involves working with varied plant matter that can be used directly or converted into biofuel for power generation.
Biomass plant technicians typically work in small teams with other plant personnel, working between the plant site and an office to complete reports. They work under relatively dangerous conditions and are required to wear protective clothing and equipment.
Biomass plant technicians require good technical knowledge of biomass properties, mechanical and production processes as well as a thorough understanding of plant safety and regulations. They will additionally benefit from:
Operate, inspect, maintain and repair biomass processing equipment
Calculate, measure, load, mix and process varied biomass materials
Record operational and production data
Troubleshoot equipment faults and contacting specialist contractors for support
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Electrical Engineering specialising in Process Control at CPUT, MUT, VUT and WSU
Biomass plant technicians can also benefit from a National Certificate in Fossil Power Plant Operations at National Qualifications Framework Level 1 to 4 at TECHNISA, accredited by the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority. However, most training takes place on the job with mentoring by experienced operators.
Biomass power production plants.