St1 launches bioethanol pilot project in Thailand
Finnish energy company St1 has completed the construction of a pilot plant in Thailand with local partner Ubon Bio Ethanol. There it will try out its Etanolix technology for the production of advanced ethanol from cassava waste for use as transport fuel.
The pilot plant is located at Ubon Bio Ethanol’s starch and ethanol plant site in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. It will be operated for a year in different environments, conditions and seasons to finalise the concept of full-scale ethanol production from cassava waste.
St1 is a pioneer in waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and made plans with Ubon Bio Ethanol more than a year ago to set up the pilot project in Thailand, after discovering cassava waste to be one of the best feedstock sources for its Etanolix technology.
“Our team consisting of members of both companies is very excited to reach the piloting phase,” says Patrick Pitkänen, advanced fuels director for St1 Renewable Energy. “The construction of ethanol production pilot equipment has been carried out in very good co-operation with our local partners in Thailand.”
After the pilot phase, the aim is to start construction of the first commercial plant. Cassava waste from Thailand’s largest starch production plants would enable the production of 10–30 million litres of ethanol per year, although St1’s goal is to ultimately increase the capacity to 400 million litres per year.