Key players step up switch to cleaner sources of fuel
Three large energy firms are accelerating efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and replace fossil fuels with clean energy, following a pledge made by the Prayut Chan-o-cha government to fight climate change.
The shift to renewable energy is gathering momentum after Gen Prayut announced during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in November last year that Thailand would achieve carbon neutrality -- a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption -- by 2050.
SET-listed TPI Polene Power (TPIPP), the country's largest waste-to-energy project developer and operator by capacity, is among the first companies to follow the policy.
The firm vowed to become a coal-free power generation company by 2025 with plans to replace fossil fuels with refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
The company uses heat from cement kilns and the burning of waste in processes to generate electricity.
TPIPP plans to spend 8.3 billion baht over the next five years to develop and expand the capacity of its RDF-fired power plants and modify coal-fired power generators so they can use RDF.
Once all the projects are completed, the company expects to achieve the 2025 goal. The next step is to become a member of "RE100", said Pakkapol Leopairut, executive vice-president of TPIPP.
RE100 is a global renewable energy initiative among companies that commits its members to the use of 100% renewable energy.
"Our new power generation capacity will be based on renewable resources," said Mr Pakkapol.
TPIPP operates eight power plants with a combined capacity of 440 megawatts.
When it becomes a coal-free power firm, the amount of waste the company will purchase is expected to reach 16,200 tonnes a day, he said. Most of the garbage will come from landfills.
This volume of renewable fuel is estimated to help cut carbon dioxide emissions by 12.4 million tonnes, said Mr Pakkapol.
SET-listed energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation announced the company and its subsidiaries plan to achieve a carbon neutrality target by 2030. The company also wants to attain a net-zero target, a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption, by 2050.
The businesses of the Bangchak Group release around 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a carbon footprint assessment made by 21 Bangchak executives. The group is committed to implementing serious carbon dioxide reduction programmes, with one method carbon credit trade.
Carbon credit trade refers to a system in which companies can trade the amount of greenhouse gas reduction they generate from environmental projects to offset carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere.
PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP), a petroleum producer, also wants to achieve a net-zero goal by 2050. Natruedee Khositaphai, PTTEP executive vice-president for strategy and business development, said the company will use carbon capture and storage technology to help it reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The firm also aims to run afforestation programmes to serve as natural carbon sinks.
PTTEP previously set a goal of cutting 25% of its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, but it was able to attain the goal eight years ahead of schedule.