TPIPP budgets B8bn for waste-fuelled power plants

TPIPP budgets B8bn for waste-fuelled power plants

An aerial view of TPIPP's power plant in Saraburi province. The company is looking to acquire existing waste-to-energy projects.
An aerial view of TPIPP's power plant in Saraburi province. The company is looking to acquire existing waste-to-energy projects.

SET-listed TPI Polene Power Plc (TPIPP) plans to spend 8 billion baht in 2020 to develop waste-to-energy (WTE) projects in Thailand.

Worawit Lerdbussarakam, vice-president for production, said 6 billion baht of the budget is to acquire existing WTE projects and 2 billion baht is to increase production capacity for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) from various types of waste.

TPIPP is the power generation subsidiary of TPI Polene Plc, a cement maker. TPIPP manages waste from cement production, turning it into electricity for TPI's operations.

TPIPP has power generation of 440 megawatts from eight power plants of many types, including coal-fired and WTE.

"TPIPP can add new projects to the company's portfolio in the near future," Mr Worawit said.

For the 6-billion-baht budget, TPIPP is in talks with several companies to acquire their existing WTE projects. Some companies have held power generation licences for WTE projects since 2015, but they cannot proceed to develop the projects and finish construction as scheduled.

"Some companies lack liquidity and the capability to manage community waste and provide RDF for WTE projects, so many companies, holding combined licences for almost 200MW, will sell their assets," Mr Worawit said. "TPIPP has approached them for takeover deals and expects a final conclusion by March."

He said new WTE projects are expected to begin auctions in 2020. The Energy Regulatory Commission will host those bids.

"TPIPP expects to win two WTE projects under its 2-billion-baht budget," Mr Worawit said. "Each new WTE project will have power generation of 10MW."

He said TPIPP is waiting for other WTE projects in provincial areas to begin auctions soon. Local administrations in Nakhon Ratchasima and Songkhla are preparing for WTE bids after those projects were put off due to local elections.

"Each project also requires 10MW in power generation, and the two administrations will open the bidding in 2020," Mr Worawit said.

In addition, TPIPP plans to cut operating costs from building new boilers at its power plants to avoid interruption of power generation due to maintenance schedules.

This improvement will increase capacity utilisation at all power plants from 75% in 2018 to 95% in 2020.

Mr Worawit said that if TPIPP has 2020 budget left over, it plans to increase the capacity of six RDF production facilities in the central region.

By 2020, RDF capacity is expected to reach 4,000 tonnes a day, up from 2,600 tonnes in 2019.

Mr Worawit said TPIPP forecasts 2020 revenue to hit a record high of 11.5 billion baht, up from 10.5 billion baht estimated in 2019.

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