Wednesday, 02 November 2016

Success of the World’s First Coconut Waste Power Plant in Thailand paves the way for similar projects

The world’s first coconut waste biomass power plant capable of utilising all forms of waste from the coconut industry - including husks, stems and fronds - began operation in April 2016, in Mahachai, Thailand. 


This unique 9.5MWe High Temperature High Pressure Biomass power plant was delivered by DP CleanTech and has now been in operation for 6 months. DP’s longstanding experience and expertise in corrosive fuel combustion and technical solutions was used to make specific modifications to its existing, proven technology to enable simultaneous combustion of all waste coconut residues. The innovative modifications also allows coconut biomass of different sizes to be efficiently handled and combusted whilst minimizing corrosion and fouling.

The power plant is designed to achieve an efficiency of 30% with a net Heat Rate of 13,250kJ/kWh, with a design fuel at 45% moisture content, whilst ensuring lower than regulatory standard emissions.  An advanced control and automation system allows the plant to operate at full capacity for more than 8,000 hours per year without operator assistance.

During the initial six months of operation (excluding a planned maintenance shutdown from 30th June to 11th July), the plant has operated for 3,132 hours (>130 days), and has met its design parameters. The plant consumes around 320 tons per day of coconut waste, as well as other biomass residue. The plant operates in a stable condition and runs at full load to generate 8 MWe of green power which is being fed into the public PEA grid, benefitting the plant owner, the local community and the environment.

Currently, the main challenge faced by the plant is maintaining the quality of fuel, due to the rainy season in the local area. In some cases, the moisture in the fuel has exceeded 65%. However, despite these challenges, stable operation at full load has been maintained by making slight adjustments in the combustion process and fuel feeding system to accommodate the high levels of moisture.    

For more information about the Mahachai power plant please click here.