TPIPP hails best-ever power sales in quarter

A TPI Polene Power plant in Saraburi province. Efficiency improvements have raised the company's generating capacity.

TPI Polene Power Plc (TPIPP), a waste-to-power company wholly owned by TPI Polene Plc, Thailand's third-largest cement maker, says power sold to state utilities by TPIPP hit a new high in the first quarter.

Vice-president Worawit Lerdbussarakam said power sold to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) reached 197kWh in the first quarter of 2017, the highest level ever.

The showing improved on 180kWh sold in the fourth quarter of 2016.

"The rise in power-generating capacity is due to our maintenance process late last year, when we improved our power-generating machines and processes to help increase efficiency and increase power-generating capacity," Mr Worawit said.

TPIPP operates waste-to-energy power plants with a combined capacity of 150 megawatts, including two heat-recovery power plants and two refused-derived fuel (RDF) power plants.

The waste-to-energy power plants receive an adder tariff of 3.50 baht per kWh for the first seven years of operation.

This year, TPIPP plans to expand its power-generating capacity by an additional 290MW by developing three further power plants at a cost of 10 billion baht, including a 150MW coal-fired plant, a 70MW RDF plant and a 70MW coal-fired and RDF plant.

All three plants are expected to pass their environmental impact assessments this year.

Mr Worawit said he expects a positive impact from higher power bills caused by the rising price of natural gas, which accounts for nearly 70% of Thailand's power generation.

He said higher power bills should increase profit because TPIPP generates power from low-cost waste, leading to greater margins in the second half of the year.

The Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a rise in power bills by 12.53 satang per kWh, starting in the May-August period.

Price rises in natural gas normally lag six to nine months behind those of oil prices, which began to climb earlier this year.

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