SUPERBLOCK, a diversified electricity distributor, plans to start construction of a waste-to-energy power plant this quarter.
Chairman Jormsup Lochaya said recently the company was in talks with three foreign firms for purchase of technology for generating power from waste. Two – Hitachi and Mitsubishi – are based in Japan, and the third is US-based Covanta.
He said all three were at the top of the field of power-generation technology, so the final decision would come down to price. “The power plant should have an internal rate of return exceeding 18 per cent,” he said.
Jormsup said the project, which would be the company’s first industrial waste-to-energy power plant, would have 10-megawatt capacity. It would be located in one of the northeast?ern provinces where the waste supply is sizeable, such as Sa Kaew or Prachin Buri.
He said construction of the power plant should kick off this quarter and would take about 12-14 months.
“The plant will require an investment of around Bt13 billion to Bt15 billion. Based on our revenue forecast, it should break even within six to eight years,” Jormsup said.
In the meantime, he said the company also planned to invest in community-based waste-to-energy plants, expecting to commence construction in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
In the initial stage, the company will start from densely populated areas because of the large amount of waste. However, the power capacity of each plant and location would depend on the government’s policy.
Each plant generating power from household waste is expected to require investment of Bt1.5 billion, Jormsup said.
“Superblock aims for overall capacity of 200MW from its waste-to-energy plants within a few years, resulting in estimated income of Bt55 million per megawatt,” he said.
He said construction of the company’s other power plants was complete and they were awaiting licensing approval.
Currently, Superblock’s power plants have been approved for combined capacity of 230MW upon commercial operation date. The company expects more approvals this month, bringing it to combined capacity of 500MW.
However, it should be able to reach total commercial operating capacity of 1,000MW by the end of this year and 2,000MW next year as planned, he said.
Akira Kawasaki, manager of Ariake Incineration Plant in Tokyo, said it had been operated since 1994, and there had never been any system errors.
The plant can burn around 400 tonnes of waste a day and generate 60-80 kilowatt-hours daily. He said the optimum temperature for burning waste was 800-900 degrees Celsius to avoid air pollution. The plant’s emissions are within the required standard.
Kawasaki said the outstanding point of the plant was a 16-kilometre pipe system that sucked in waste so that it could manage waste more easily and save logistics costs.