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Biogas to power vehicles in Thailand

The majority state-owned oil and gas firm PTT Plc is due to invest THB300 million (€7.5 million) on the development of vehicles powered by biogas in Thailand.

Agricultural waste will be converted into methane and used as an alternative to fossil fuels in vehicles.

‘The idea is aimed at using methane gas for vehicles in rural areas that are located too far from natural gas for vehicles (NGV) service stations,’ said Permsak Shevawattananon, a senior executive VP of PTT. ‘NGV stations obtain gas from the main pipeline network and extending pipelines to serve NGV stations in all areas would be very costly.’

The capital will be used to develop two methane gas production units and a pig farm in Chiang Mai. The project, which will create 6.5 tonnes of methane, the equivalent of 6,400 litres of diesel a day, will be built and operated by Universal Absorbant and Chemicals Co. and part funded by the Energy Conservation Fund.

The facility is set to begin construction in June this year and it is expected to be operational by the end of 2011.

Permsak said: ‘Although this is a pilot project, it would be the big start to developing green fuel from waste and could cut greenhouse gas and use of fossil fuel.’

PTT is also embarking on another project, investing THB80 million on the construction of a facility in Ubon Ratchathani that will produce methane from cassava starch waste. With an output capacity of 8 tonnes of gas a day, the facility is due to be up and running by the middle of next year.