Danish biomass firm DP CleanTech has been contracted to convert an ageing coal fired power plant to run instead on waste wood such as eucalyptus bark.
The retrofitted plant will provide green electricity and steam to Thailand’s largest ethanol plant which is currently being built by TPK Ethanol of Thailand. The new ethanol plant, in Nakorn Ratchasima, is expected to produce 1 million litres of bio-ethanol a day.
DP CleanTech’s new biomass boiler will be fuelled by waste wood and Eucalyptus bark sourced from the forestry and paper industry in the surrounding area.
Creating steam and electricity from waste biomass as opposed to coal will significantly improve the TPK ethanol plant’s green credentials. Furthermore, DP CleanTech’s advanced boiler design has been adapted to handle biogas and up to 25 tons per hour of Giant King Grass providing excellent flexibility and fuel security.
“This is a great project for DP CleanTech as it allows us to build our reference list in Thailand and prove ourselves in coal conversion projects,” said Jerome Le-Borgne, Sales Manager South East Asia. “We believe Thailand has a major growth potential for biomass, largely thanks to the emerging government incentives. By providing this conversion service in addition to new build biomass plants we are establishing ourselves as the technological leaders for biomass to electricity.”
Ongoing efforts by The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to diversify its power sources by using more coal and adopting nuclear have been met with resistance by environmentalists and communities.
Egat are now researching IGCC technology, which turns coal into gas. However Egat deputy governor Somboon Arayaskul said that producing electricity from IGCC is about 50 percent more expensive than using fossil fuels.
Feasibility studies into alternative technologies have revealed that coal to biomass conversions provide the relatively cheapest option for alternative sources of energy, and significantly reduce the environmental impact of existing coal power plants.