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DP CleanTech to convert coal power plant to biomass in Thailand

By Lisa Gibson | September 28, 2011

DP CleanTech will convert a coal-fired power plant in Thailand to run instead on waste wood and eucalyptus bark. The retrofitted combined-heat-and-power plant will provide 20 megawatts of electricity to a nearby 1-million-liter-per-day bioethanol plant being constructed by TPK Ethanol in Nakorn Ratchasima.

DP CleanTech’s new biomass boiler and vibrating grate technology will be fueled by biomass sourced from the forestry and paper industry in the surrounding area. As an alternative to the woody fuel, the system could also use Giant King Grass. DP CleanTech’s advanced boiler design has been adapted to handle biogas and up to 25 tons per hour of Giant King Grass, providing it with flexibility and fuel security. DP CleanTech and Giant King Grass provider Viaspace have signed a memorandum of understanding for the project, according to Viaspace.

DP CleanTech developed its capabilities in coal to biomass conversion in Europe. While this is the company’s first project of this kind in Asia, DP CleanTech anticipates many more similar projects to come, as governments and companies try to quickly and cost effectively reduce their dependence on coal.

“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, DP CleanTech sales manager for Southeast 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.”

Thailand’s government encourages further production and use of biomass than is being realized and both Viaspace and DP CleanTech had announced within the past couple years their intentions to begin exploring opportunities there.