St1 inks MoA for Thai bioethanol pilot project
Finnish energy company St1 has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ubon Bio Ethanol to launch a pilot project of the production of bioethanol from cassava waste.
The aim of the agreement is to eventually set up a joint venture for ethanol production in Thailand. The country is currently a forerunner in use of renewable energy, using over three million litres of ethanol per day as transport fuel. The Thai government plans to raise consumption to 11.3 million litres per day by 2036.
St1’s goal is to build as many as 20 Etanolix plants in Thailand, with a combined production capacity of 400 million litres of ethanol per year.
The company has performed worldwide studies of different types of potential food industry waste for bioethanol production, and discovered that waste from cassava starch production in Thailand is one of the best feedstock sources for the company’s Etanolix technology.
“We are ready to go ahead with the pilot stage with our local partners, to ensure a smooth start to production and to assess the effects of local conditions and seasonal changes on the scale and design of the ethanol plant,” says Patrick Pitkänen, head of business development and sales at St1. “This is also an important learning opportunity for the team, which consists of representatives from both companies. Design engineers are currently working on the pilot equipment, and the pilot launch is scheduled for this year.”