PLN reveals its biomass co-firing implementation in coal power plants

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PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) (PLN), Indonesia's government-owned electricity producing corporation, has said it aims to accelerate decarbonisation by decreasing the usage of fossil energy. In the power sector, PT PLN (Persero) said it will begin to gradually early retire Coal Fired Power Plants (CFPP). Meanwhile, to reduce emissions from existing operational CFPPs, PLN said it has implemented biomass co-firing technology.
Evy Haryadi, director of transmission and system planning at PLN, has explained that the company is implementing co-firing technology at 33 CFPPs. Over the next two or three years, it will add more co-firing technology at 52 CFPPs.
Evy admitted the co-firing technology conducted by PLN is not solely to reduce emission. Biomass co-firing technology is inviting the community to be actively involved by planting biomass, or even by managing their regional household waste to be processed and converted into pellets for co-firing at CFPP - hence creating new value creation opportunity for the local community.
"Up until now PLN has produced 653 GWh of clean energy from biomass co-firing, which is equal to reducing 656 thousand tones CO2 emission," said Evy on Climate Change Summit (COP 27) at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on 6 November.
By 2025, PLN aims to utilise 10 million tons biomass annually to implement co-firing technology at CFPPs. This amount is equal to 12% biomass composition as feedstock in the CFPPs. With this step PLN hopes it can reduce carbon emission for 11 million tones CO2 per year.
The challenge ahead, Evy said, is to secure adequate biomass supply for co-firing implementation. To secure the supply, PLN has cooperation agreement with 3 SOEs, namely PT Perhutani, PT Perkebunan Nusantara and PT Sang Hyang Seri.
"We also work with local government to process municipal waste into solid recovered fuel or SRF, which can be used as biomass material for co-firing," Evy explained.
The government also expressed support for PLN's co-firing program. Deputy Management Environment and Forestry Coordinating Ministry for Maritime & Investment Affairs, Nani Hendarti, explained that the action PLN has taken is aligned with the goals of government of Indonesia in reducing carbon emission.
Furthermore, Nani explained that in order to develop this technology, the Indonesian government is supporting the development of energy forest to utilise idle area for energy plantation. The government also supports local stakeholders to manage municipal waste to be converted to biomass feedstock for PLN co-firing.
"The next challenge is to ensure the supply of biomass is sufficient for PLN's CFPP. Recently, we are coordinating across ministries to create a regulation or law framework, so that the scheme can run smoothly and with economical raw material," Nani said.

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