GE Engines to power Cambodian rice husk power project

By Anna Simet | July 17, 2012

GE Energy has signed a contract with Cambodian industrial conglomerate Soma Group to supply two of its engines to power a biomass gasification facility. 

Soma Group’s Hak Se mill biomass gasification project is located in Cambodia’s rural rice milling region Kamphong Cham, and reinforces a 2011 agreement between GE Energy and the Cambodian government to identify opportunities to use the company’s distributed power, smart grid and other solutions to meet the country’s energy challenges.

India-based Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies Pvt. Ltd is developing the facility for Soma, where rice husks will be converted into biogas to power two GE VHP 5904 Waukesha engines.  About 1.5 MW of electricity will be generated in total; part of the power will support the rice mill’s operations while surplus electricity will be sold to the local grid.

SOMA Group selected GE’s Waukesha gas engine technology after determining it would be more cost-effective than using a diesel-powered system to help exploit the country’s abundant supply of rice husk waste as a reliable source of renewable energy, according to GE Energy.  Less than two kilograms of husk can produce 1 kilowatt hour of electricity.

“Our new facility is expected to serve as an important model for the region’s rice-milling industry and other agricultural sectors by showing how they can recycle more of their biomass, generate renewable electricity and make their mills more competitive by reducing their on-site energy and waste disposal expenses,” said Soma Group CEO Sok Puthyvut.

By converting rice mill waste into biogas to support the local grid, the Soma Group project is supporting Cambodia’s Rural Electrification Program that seeks to supply electricity to every village by 2020 and to connect 70 percent of the country’s households to the grid by 2030. Currently, only 50 percent of rural villages have access to electricity with demands for power growing at 25 percent a year, according to a GE Energy media release.

The long-term supply of rice hull feedstock is expected to remain plentiful, as the Cambodian government has established an ambitious goal to export 1 million tons of rice in 2013, which will create about 400,000 tons of concentrated rice husks.

The project will become the first to benefit from a biomass tariff provided by the Cambodian government, and it’s expected to be complete in March 2013.




3 Responses

  1. Rex Tai



    In the closing sentence, what does a "biomass tariff" mean? If Cambodia is producing domestic electricity from domestic raw material where can a tariff come into play?

  2. Anna Simet



    Rex, that is a feed-in tariff, which is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewables. In a nutshell, the government ensures the power producer will secure a contract to get paid a certain price for a certain kind of power. Ontario, Canada, has implemented a very successful feed-in tariff program.

  3. Avril



    Kaloo - tu t\'amuses comme un petit fou sous l\'eau ! trc3a8s jolie sc3a9rie !Me souviens ptc3aat que tu en avais dc3a9jc3a0 parlc3a9 amis c3a7a m\'est sorti de la tc3aate, tu as achetc3a9 un botieir sous marin pour y mettre ton ptit APN qui faisait dc3a9jc3a0 des merveilles c3a0 l\'air libre ? (enfin plus l\'aprentis ptit suisse qui le manipulait hein ;o) ! ). Me rappelle c\'est le Nikonos V avant l\'c3a8re du numc3a9rique qui faisait des merveilles sous l\'eau.c3a7a doit carrc3a9ment dc3a9cupler la passion de la plongc3a9e de pouvoir ramener des traces de ce qui nous a carrc3a9ment c3a9quarquillc3a9 les rc3a9tinnes lc3a0 en dessous !Tu me donne envie


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