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New Coconut-fired Biomass Plant Set for Thailand

A 9.5-MW power station that will be fired using coconut waste is to be developed in Thailand. Under the terms of a deal recently inked between biomass and waste-to-energy provider DP Cleantech and the Mahachai Green Power project, the company will develop a high pressure, high temperature plant on an EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) basis.

Located in Samut Sakhon Province, Thailand, the 9.5-MWe project will use DP Cleantech’s biomass combustion technology. The turnkey contract includes all the electro-mechanical systems for the plant which will run on coconut waste residues, such as husks, shells, and leaves.

Coconut waste

The new design has been adapted especially for coconut waste to ensure efficient fuel consumption as well as the flexibility to mix several kinds of fuels in various sizes. The system will also include flue gas cleaning systems to lower emissions below regulatory standards.

In a statement DP Cleantech says it is able to guarantee long-term stable performance, operating at full capacity for more than 7,900 hours per year. The company will manage delivery of the project from its office in Bangkok and the plant is expected to be grid-connected within 18 months.

Power generated by the plant will be fed into the public PEA grid, and will benefit from Thailand’s strong biomass feed-in-tariffs. Any remaining ashes will be used as fertilizer for farming or filler material for construction. The project is also expected to create a substantial amount of local employment as well as in creating value for local farmer’s coconut waste.

Mahachai Green Power Co., Ltd. is a joint venture between major shareholders the German utility EnBW Erneuerbare und Konventionelle Erzeugung AG and TPC Power Holding Co., Ltd., a company owned by the Thai Polycons group. Minority shareholders are NC Coconut Co., Ltd. as major biomass fuel supplier and Green Power Producer Group Co., Ltd. as project developer.

DP CleanTech CEO, Simon Parker, commented: “We believe that the energy market in Thailand is ready to be at the forefront of the new generation of solutions for biomass to power, using higher efficiency, multi fuel and low emissions solutions."

This latest development follows on from a summer restructuring by DP Cleantech in a move designed to focus its resources on key growth markets within Europe and Asia. Increasingly, the company says, opportunities presented by positive investor and government interest in the role that biomass power can play in the renewable energy portfolio are coming from emerging markets in these regions. At an investor level, biomass power is experiencing a resurgence of interest, the company adds, while at a regulatory and policy level there is a renewed awareness and acknowledgement of the additional environmental and social benefits afforded by medium-sized (10-30 MW) power plants which primarily use locally sourced waste biomass.

Lead image: Coconut waste via DP Cleantech

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David Appleyard is a contributing editor. A freelance journalist and photographer, he has some 20 years' experience of writing about the renewable energy sector and is based in Europe.

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