TPI Polene claims waste-fuelled power is unsustainable

TPI Polene claims waste-fuelled power is unsustainable
07 November 2018

TPI Polene has complained about the quality of national waste sorting in Thailand. The company has invested about THB4bn (US$121.9m) in waste-fuelled power plants. But high operational costs, including sorting, make the waste-to-energy business unsustainable, says the Thai cement producer. 

The lack of sorting means that Thailand's wet and damp waste can only generate about 1200kcal of energy when it is burned in the cement kiln. Japanese cement kilns generate 4000kcal from sorted waste fuel.

To be considered fuel, waste needs to be above the 2500kcal threshold said Worawit Ledbussarakam, vice president of TPI Polene Power. After the trash is sorted and burned by high-tech boilers, TPI Polene can generate 3900kcal of energy.

Each day 6000t of waste from communities and landfills and more from its own cement production plants are transported to TPI Polene power plant compund in Amphoe Kaeng Khoi, Saraburi province. The trash is then sorted and burned by the boilers in its high-tech RDF-fired power plants. 

The heat is used to generate electricity to feed its cement plants and sell to Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The company currently has a total power generation capacity at 180MW.

In an interview with Money Channel, Pakkapol Leopairut, Executive Vice President, Accounting and Finance, said the company may have to collect money for waste management from the community or use alternative fuel for power generation if EGAT does not continue to subsidise. Currently, TPI Polene Power is receiving unsorted trash from communities for free.

Published under Cement News