CDM Feasibility Study for Biogas Power Generation and bio-compost Production Project at Sugar Mill and Bio-ethanol Factory in Thailand

Global Environment Centre Foundation(GEC)

Reports of CDM/JI Feasibility Studies

Title of Feasibility Study (FS)CDM Feasibility Study for Biogas Power Generation and bio-compost Production Project at Sugar Mill and Bio-ethanol Factory in Thailand
FYFY 2009
Main Implementing EntityTohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.
FS Partner(s)Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., Ltd.
Location of Project ActivityThailand (Nakhonsawan Province)
Summary of FS ReportSummary (PDF318KB)
Description of Project ActivityThis project is biogas-based power generation (10MW) by reusing organic wastewater generated at an ethanol plant. Technologies employed are production of biogas by anaerobic digester for organic wastewater from the ethanol plant in which molasses from a sugar mill adjacent to the ethanol factory are used as law material of ethanol, and electric power production by using the wastewater based biogas.
The sugar mill supplies molasses, a residue remaining after pressing sugar cane to extract its juice, to the adjacent ethanol plant as a raw material for ethanol.
The original plan aimed to achieve two plans — biogas-based power generation (10MW) and the production of organic fertilizer (90,000t/year) — in an integrated facility by reusing organic wastewater and organic solid wastes generated at the ethanol plant and the sugar mill with integration of following facility two facilities:
    • 1) Biogas production and power generation facility: Biogas will be produced from organic wastewater, and used to generate 10MW of electricity.

    2) Composting facility: 90,000t of bio-compost (organic fertilizer) will be produced each year.
At the biogas production facility, organic wastewater generated at an ethanol plant will be decomposed to produce biogas. Biogas will then be used as fuel in gas engines with a total capacity of 10MW to generate electricity. Approximately 8MW of the electricity generated will be sold to the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) in Thailand.
At the composting facility, filter cake, an organic solid waste from the sugar mill located adjacent to the ethanol plant, and treated effluent from the biogas facility will be mixed to produce bio-compost. The bio-compost produced will be sold to the sugar mill and supplied to the mill’s contract plantations.
The study, however, found that the product of bio-compost from the project does not satisfy the standards applied to fertilizers in Thailand.
Hence, it was decided to cancel the bio-compost production component of the project and purse only the biogas production and electricity generation component.
Targeted GHGCO2, CH4
Category of Project ActivityWaste Management
Duration of Project Activity/ Crediting Period2010-2024/ 2011-2022
Methodology to be appliedACM0014 (ver.3.1) "Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from treatment of industrial wastewater"
Baseline ScenarioThe scenario 1 “The wastewater is not treated, but directed to open lagoons that have clearly anaerobic conditions” is to be applied, since waste water is treated in open lagoons at the ethanol plant. It is the wastewater treatment practice most widely seen at ethanol plants in Thailand because of its cheaper cost and simplicity of technology.
Demonstration of AdditionalityWith cash-flow analysis, it is possible to demonstrate additionality. The demonstration is to be completed using the “tool for the demonstration and assessment of additionality” (additionality tool) under ACM0013. For the analysis of this project, benchmark analysis (Option III) was applied. EIRR without sales of CERs become lower than benchmark decided by calculation of average return on equity in the energy and power sector in Thailand, showing that the project is not likely to be implemented judging from poor economic attractiveness.
Estimation of GHG Emission Reductions199,058tCO2/year
Monitoring PlanAll monitoring equipment will be installed by experts and regularly calibrated to the highest standards by the project company. The project company will form a team which is responsible for maintaining and operating the project activity and monitoring the parameters required by the methodology.
Environmental Impact AnalysisThe project site is located approximately 170km north of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. The site is surrounded by flat fields and sugar cane fields. There are no residential areas around the ethanol plant except a few scattered sugar cane farmers, and so the project is unlikely to cause any impact on the natural or living environment.
The Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE), regulation set by Thai Government, is currently being prepared by the local counterpart, and the basic points of the IEE have already been explained to the local authorities and have been approved. When the IEE is completed officially, it will be explained to Thailand’s agencies in charge: the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy & Planning (ONEP).
Project FeasibilityAs regards feasibility, the project will utilize organic wastewater supplied stably by the large ethanol plant — a subsidiary of one of the leading sugar refiners in Thailand — as a raw material, and its long-term supply is guaranteed by a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract signed with the ethanol plant operator. Electricity generated under this project will be sold to the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) over a long period, and its price is clearly defined by the Thai government, making it possible to evaluate the project’s long-term cash flow. In addition, this project is eligible for a subsidy for the electricity selling price and exemption from corporate tax for a certain period under the Very Small Power Producer (VSPP) scheme, and it is expected that, unlike many other CDM projects, this project will enjoy relatively stable profits.
Pollutants Emissions ReductionCOD and odors are used as indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of co-benefits-type global warming countermeasures and CDM projects in the water quality improvement category, with a special focus on wastewater such as from factories and business operations. Both can be evaluated by monitoring the COD reduction and control of offensive odors from changes in the odor index, due to the implementation of the project.