Mahachai Green Power Co., a Thai-German joint venture, and DPCleanTech Group, a biomass energy provider, have announced the completion of the first high temperature high-pressure biomass power plant, which converts coconut waste into energy.
The plant is specifically designed for the simultaneous combustion of all forms of coconut waste (husk, shell, bunch, fronds, leaves, trunk) as well as “conventional” biomass as wood residues, rice husk etc. to produce electrical renewable energy.
In early April, the Mahachai plant in Samut Sakhorn Province, Thailand passed the 24 hours full-load test, thereby obtaining the necessary permit for entering into commercial operation by feeding 8MWe into the national PEA grid.
‘Significant technological milestone’
According DPCleanTech, this 9.5MWe HPHT project represents a “significant technological milestone in the combustion of complex, tropical biomass fuels - fuels long considered as too difficult to exploit for renewable energy”.
In a statement, the firm said: “Using longstanding experience in corrosive fuel combustion and specifically designed technical solutions, including a modified water cooled vibrating grate, DPCleanTech has successfully achieved the efficient, simultaneous combustion of all coconut waste residues, thereby introducing a new realm of opportunity for coconut producers around the world to generate renewable energy and to create an additional source of income.
“Power generated by the plant will be fed into the public PEA grid, and any remaining ashes will be used as fertiliser for farming or filler material for construction. The project will create a substantial amount of local employment.”
The Mahachai plant is optimised to handle different types and forms of coconut biomass waste as well as other types of biomass such as wood residues. It is designed to consume up to 323 tonnes/day of moist fuel and to operate with an availability of more than 7,900 hours per year.
The plant was delivered to the owners on an EPC basis, which allowed DPCleanTech to ensure that the innovative design was optimised and integrated into the whole solution, DPCleanTech said.
DPCleanTech’s CEO, Simon Parker, said: “This is the world’s first power plant designed for the simultaneous combustion of all coconut waste types.
“It was a highly challenging project requiring innovative thinking and enhanced technical capability; and the project was completed through the extraordinary cooperative efforts of the client and the DP team. Our knowledge has been considerably enhanced during the process and we will use it to further refine our technology for further application, and with other complex fuel types.”
Roland Vogel, managing director of CarbonBW Thailand Co., added: “Being a pioneer is never easy, and we are very proud of the way in which the teams have worked together to address and resolve the inevitable issues. Today, the Mahachai project is a fine example of how progressive thinking and cross cultural collaboration can overcome the challenges inherent in developing new solutions and ideas.”
Khun Cherdsak Wattanavijitku, president of TPC Power Holding, explained: “There were many preconceived ideas about what was, and wasn’t possible with coconut waste residue as a feedstock, but our vision to use not just a part, but all the waste residue of this most abundant natural resource has now been realised.
“We hope that we have shown the way towards creating a sustainable economic cycle for the coconut producing industry and that this is only the first of many similar plants in the region.”
Founded in 2004, DP CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and commissions biomass and waste- to-energy power plants, providing complete solutions for turning waste materials into clean energy.
With a reference list of over 80 biomass-to-power plants around the world using proprietary high pressure, high temperature technology originally developed in Denmark, DP CleanTech is recognised as a world leader in the biomass clean energy field with particular expertise in straw-firing and complex fuels.
DP has a strong presence in both Europe and Asia and having built the first biomass power plant in China is now responsible for over 30 per cent of the biomass power plants operating in China today.
Mahachai Green Power Co., is a Thai-German joint venture. The major shareholders are TPC Power Holding PCL and CarbonBW Thailand Co.