By The Nation
For now, though, energy-from-waste trade is an ad-hoc policy. The country’s power development plan from 2018 to 2037 (PDP 2018) foresees the expansion of electricity generating capacity by 400 megawatts from 500 megawatts – a 900-megawatt increase in 19 years. Energy from waste could meet the 400-megawatt quata.
“The energy-from-waste trade plan in EEC area was acknowledged by the minister and he might pass it to the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, which drew up the Alternative Energy Development Plan from 2018 to 2037 to add further details in the draft,” the source said, adding that the energy-from-waste trade policy would first have to be approved by the Ministry of Interior.
The next announcement on the energy-from-waste might be published after the second quarter next year when all five energy plans - PDP 2018 edited edition, AEDP, Energy Efficiency Plan, oil plan, and gas plan – are completed, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2020.
Another source said that Energy Minister, Sontirat Sontijirawong has instructed his department to seek a protocol using the cost of national electricity as the main factor.
Worawit Lertbussarakam, Deputy Managing Director at TPI Polene plc (TPIPP), says an energy-from-waste community plant would help manage waste in the new town. According to a study, ECC has the potential to produce 50 megawatts from waste. However, much would depend on whether the government chose to use a specific company like Global Power Synergy (GPSC), a subsidiary of PTT that already has a prototype of waste power plants in EEC, or opted to put out a call for bids to allow other private sector concerns to compete. If the latter, his company would join the competition.
“Both methods have different advantages. If the government chooses GPSC, the plan will be completed quickly while the bidding process will create competition and this will bring the cost of construction down. The construction of a waste power plant needs an investment of around $3-4 million per megawatt or more than Bt100 million per megawatt,” Worawit said.
However, energy-from-waste power plant promotion and support in EEC would first require the collection of data, such as the exact amount of waste needed feed each powerplant and the setting of a power purchase rate.
The prototype full-cycle energy-from-waste power plants would cover 3 provinces in EEC with 6 plants constructed in the entire area.