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Thai government plans for biogas power plants using Napier grass

In Thailand, the government has recently revealed plans to stimulate the building of biogas power plants using Napier grass supplied by local communities, in an effort to create jobs and incomes, stimulate the local economy and strengthen national energy security.

Thai Minister of Energy Sontirat Sontijrawong visited the plant of Ubon Bio Ethanol Co Ltd in Baan Nong Paen village in Nayia district of Ubon Ratchathani province recently (photo courtesy NNT).

Ubon Bio Ethanol Co Ltd is Thailand’s largest cassava ethanol producer. The firm purchases and processes cassava to produce starch (tapioca) and fuel ethanol in the same plant. Biogas is generated from the facility’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and more recently from Napier grass to fuel a 5.6 MW gas-fired power plant.

According to a statement, the Thai government is looking to encourage farmers to build community-based power plants producing biogas from Napier grass to create jobs and incomes, stimulate the local economy and strengthen national energy security.

The energy minister said the biomass power plant in Ubon Ratchathani province will become a model biomass plant for communities elsewhere, able to access Napier grass which can be processed into biogas. However, the success of such projects would depend on the preparedness of the respective communities.

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