Finnish Biogas Producer Expands in Laos

Thai Biogas Energy (TBEC) plans to invest about US$4 million to set up a second biogas plant in Laos and is looking for further opportunities in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The company today will sign a contract with Doungphasuk Cassava Factory Co (DPS) for the new project in Attapeu, using wastewater from the Laotian producer’s cassava factory.

The DPS plant has a daily capacity of 1,500 tonnes of fresh cassava, or about 500 tonnes of starch. The company grows cassava on 5,000 hectares and also obtains supplies from contracted farmers on another 5,000 hectares. Most of its output is exported.

The second plant with a capacity of 30,000 cubic metres a day is expected to begin production in March 2012.

The company’s first biogas project in Vientiane, also with a capacity of 30,000 cu m a day, is due to start operating by the end of this year, said Pajon Sriboonruang, chief operating officer of TBEC.

Apart from the new plant in Attapeu in Laos, the company expects to start building a plant worth 100 million baht in Surat Thani within this year, he added.

TBEC has been growing steadily since it opened its first biogas plant in Thailand in 2003 under the build-own-operate-transfer concept. It now has three projects using cassava as well as plants that use palm and rubber raw materials.

The company’s four plants are in Rayong, Kalasin, Saraburi and Surat Thani with combined biogas production capacity of 80,000 cu m a day.

It has invested about 500 million baht in the four plants in Thailand.

TBEC is owned by the Private Energy Market Fund L.P. (PEMF) of Finland and Al Tayyar Energy (ATE), controlled by HRH Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah Al Alaoui of Morocco.

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