GFE Energy Balance and Metro Energy to construct Thailand’s first power plant using pyrolysis technology

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GFE Energy Balance and Metro Energy to construct Thailand’s first power plant using pyrolysis technology

Udon Thani facility to utilse pyrolysis technology to turn plastic waste into fuel

Metro Energy Co, a local sales arm of US-based machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc, is going ahead with the construction of Thailand’s first power plant that uses pyrolysis technology in Udon Thani to turn plastic waste into fuel and help curb greenhouse gases.

Under the pyrolysis technique, discarded plastic will be heated at high temperatures to produce gaseous fuel, which will be then be used in an electricity generating process.

Veera Burapachaisri, managing director of Metro Energy Co, said the technology best suits Thailand as it can help reduce plastic waste.

Thailand is among the top six countries in the world blamed for discarding plastic waste in the ocean.

He said the gaseous fuel-fired power plant project, which already went through a public hearing, can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions amounting to 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Metro Energy Co yesterday signed a contract with GFE Energy Balance Co which will build a 9.6-megawatt power plant, worth 710 million baht.

Electricity will be sold to the state power distribution arm, Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA).

The facility was originally scheduled to start construction in 2019, but it was delayed due to lockdown measures imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plant, now under construction, is expect to operate in August next year, said Mr Veera.

He said the company is planning to build another three waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants using pyrolysis technology, but declined to give further details.

Metro Energy Co has developed the first pyrolysis-based power plant after it was granted permission from Udon Thani Municipality.

The facility will be built near a waste separation plant in the municipality which has operated for two years.

The power plant is aimed to help officials dispose of 300 tonnes of daily solid waste in the municipality where its landfill has nearly reached full garbage burying capacity.

Plastic waste will be sorted for the pyrolysis process while biodegradable kitchen waste will be turned into fertiliser and other types of garbage will be converted into refuse-derived fuels.

The power plant is among 45 WTE power plant projects, with 217MW in total capacity. Up to 35 of them, with combined capacity of 151MW, already operated, said Chutinat Limpananwadi, chief of PEA’s alternative energy department.