Plasma Purity Power first company in Thailand to use of napier grass for electricity generation

Construction News
A 1.2-megawatt biogas-fired power plant in Ubon Ratchathani’s Sawang Wirawong district.

Plasma Purity Power first company in Thailand to use of napier grass for electricity generation

Plasma Purity Power Co (PP Power), a biogas power plant developer and operator, has announced it will be the first company in Thailand to be able to produce biogas purely from napier grass for electricity generation.

Known as elephant-feeding grass, napier grass can be processed into compressed biomethane gas (CBG), but it usually needs to be mixed with cattle and pig manure or farm leftovers to produce biogas.

Sarun Tunwattanapong, founder and chief executive of PP Power, said the company has operated a 1.2-megawatt CBG-fired power plant, with napier grass as the only fuel, in Ubon Ratchathani’s Sawang Wirawong district since 2015.

The power plant is connected with the state grid of the Provincial Electricity Authority under a long-term power purchase agreement, said Mr Sarun.

Napier grass

“We have a business model to smoothly run power generation and buy napier grass from local growers at guaranteed prices under contract farming,” he said.

With help of information technology in grass plantation and business management, the power plant has operated without problems over the past six years.

The grass can easily grow in dry areas which are not suitable for other crops, said Mr Sarun.

According to the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, Thailand has almost 200 biogas projects, with a combined capacity of 530MW. Most of the projects are based on waste from livestock manure business.

The capacity is set to increase to 1,280MW in 2036 under the 2018 national power development plan (first revision).

Mr Sarun said PP Power has received approval for the technical aspects of its two new power plant project proposals from the Energy Regulatory Commission under Energy For All renewable scheme.

Energy For All is aimed to encourage businesses and communities to jointly invest in biomass and biogas-based power generation projects

The two projects, each with capacity of 3MW based on napier grass fuel, are in Ubon Ratchathani’s Nam Yuen and Sawang Wirawong districts.