EGCO scraps plan to build incinerator

PHUKET: The Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO Group) has scrapped its plans for a power plant fueled by garbage in Phuket as a result of the difficulty in collecting and separating rubbish.

Construction of the power plant was scheduled to begin early this year.

An agreement to conduct a feasibility study on the project as a pilot for other provinces was signed in October 2007.

Vinit Tangnoi, president of EGCO Group, said that there were difficulties in the collection and separation of garbage used as fuel in the power plant.

“The company, therefore, decided to suspend the project. We believe that the project is too hard to implement, even though the Energy Ministry would have supported us by giving a beneficial rate for purchasing power from us,” he said.

Mr Vinit added that the company had tried to proceed with the project by reducing the production capacity from 20 to 6 megawatts (MW) but to produce even that amount of power would have required 300 tonnes of garbage a day.

However, Vinit said that the real problem was not with the technology or worthiness of the investment but lay in collecting and separating the garbage which required high levels of expenditure and the cooperation of municipalities.

According to the project plan, the plant was to be set up as a joint venture – called Seed Co – between EGCO Group owning 50%, PTT owning 35% and British-based Sepco Asia contributing the final 15%.

Mr Vinit said that Seed Co would have held a 100% stake in Thalang Green, established as operator of the plant.

The garbage-fueled power plant was considered a major policy project of the Energy Ministry to encourage people to use alternative energy sources.

The ministry had expected the project to produce a total of 100MW by 2011, but a source at the Energy Ministry now said that the target of 100MW of power by 2011 would be difficult as there were many conflicts with influential persons in garbage managements in the island’s 19 local administrative bodies.

— The Nation

Phuket News

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