Phuket addresses waste issue with new incinerator construction

Construction News
Photo courtesy of Phuket News

Phuket addresses waste issue with new incinerator construction

Phuket City Municipality convened its inaugural public gathering last week to discuss the construction of a new incinerator at the Saphan Hin solid waste disposal facility.

The proposed scheme involves EA Waste Management Phuket Co Ltd, a private company, developing and managing the new facility. Covering nearly 15 rai (24,000 square metres), the new site is expected to hold a daily capacity of no less than 500 tonnes of solid waste, while generating 9.9 megawatts of electrical power.

Orapailin Trakulpriphon, Deputy Mayor of Phuket, asserted that overflowing garbage in the city is a significant issue that demands cross-sectoral management. This interaction aims to gather public opinion, perceived as a driving force in the evolution of effective waste management in Phuket.

This public consultation follows last year’s announcement that Energy Absolute Public Company Limited (EA) had secured the bid to build the new incinerator, subject to approval by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP). Last September, Saroj Angkanapilas, the Mayor of Phuket Town, and Wasu Klomkliang, EA’s Executive Vice President, were in Phuket to sign the government contract.

According to EA, the new incinerator is set to be operational by 2026. Under a build-operate-transfer agreement, EA will manage the facility for 20 years before transferring ownership to Phuket City Municipality. The incinerator will have the capacity to burn no less than 500 tonnes of waste per day while generating 9.9MW of electricity, which will be sold to the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA). The PEA will purchase 8MW of electricity at 5.84 baht per unit for the first eight years and 5.14 baht per unit thereafter.

The new incinerator is part of six initiatives under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on February 18 this year by EA and the Federation of Thai Industries Phuket (FTI Phuket). Under the Phuket as a Green Island; Low Carbon City initiative, the collaboration aims to foster the growth of tourism and other industries in Phuket.

Overdue project

The new incinerator project is long overdue, considering the island’s inability to manage the volume of waste it generates daily. Phuket’s inability to dispose of the trash has been a source of deep concern for nearly a decade. The two incinerators currently in operation can burn up to 700 tonnes per day, but during the tourism high season, the volume of solid waste arriving at the landfill is about 1,000 tonnes a day.

The new incinerator to be built by EA is to be the third incinerator at Saphan Hin, and is to help officials realise their aspirations of slowly burning off the mounds of trash in the landfill, reported Phuket News.

Phuket City Solid Waste Management Chief at the plant, Chantima stated that residents need to be aware that it is also their responsibility to help deal with the waste problem in Phuket.