Thailand’s Egat tests 2pc wood pellet co-firing

  • : Biomass, Coal
  • 24/03/07

Thailand's state-controlled utility Egat plans to co-fire wood pellets at a 300MW unit of its lignite-fired Mae Moh power plant in Lampang province.

Thailand is currently testing 2pc co-firing at the unit, the chairman of the wood processing club at the Federation of Thai Industries Akarin Vongapirat, said at the Argus Biomass Asia Conference in Singapore. The goal is to start co-firing after the trial and government approvals, then increase it to 5pc and further raise it to 15pc in the coming years.

The plan was separately confirmed by a Egat official. Mae Moh is a 2.46GW lignite-fired power plant comprising six units of 300MW and one unit of 655MW. It currently co-fires two other units with agricultural waste.

The utility's co-firing ambitions comes as a number of Asia-Pacific utilities are looking to replace some percentage of coal in their blends as part of wider plan to reduce carbon emissions. The increase in co-firing will support demand for domestic as well as imported biomass.

Egat will require 200,000 t/yr of wood pellets when it reaches 15pc co-firing,Vongapirat said, adding that the country's wood pellet production is estimated at 600,000 t/yr. Domestic production supports Thailand's wood pellet exports, which rose to around 195,000t in 2023 from about 133,500t in 2022, according to customs data. Wood pellet imports were 10,700t last year, slipping from 11,250t a year earlier. Increased domestic consumption could weigh on exports in future years and support higher imports.

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