The Biomass Power Project (the Project) is developed by the Biomass Electricity Co. Ltd. (BECO) to supply the 304 Industrial Park (304-IP) on Highway 304, and sell the remaining power to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) under the small power producer program. The power plant has a total capacity of 165 megawatts (MW), of which 15 MW will be for internal consumption, 60 MW for the 304-IP, and 90 MW for EGAT. The Project will also sell steam to some industries in the 304-IP.1 The Project will use rice husks as the primary fuel, and waste wood and wood chips as secondary fuels. The Project has arrangements with rice mills and wood processing industries to ensure adequate longterm supply of rice husks and waste wood.
The Project is to be located in the 304-IP, about 150 kilometers (km) east of Bangkok (Map 1). The core project site, where the power plant is to be located, comprises 16.35 rais2 (2.62 hectares [ha]) of vacant land adjacent to the existing 300 MW power plant of the National Power Supply Company Limited (NPS).3 In addition, the Project has acquired 62.65 rais (10.024 ha) to be reserved for emission control in compliance with permissible emissions per unit area (para. 50). The 304-IP has a total area of about 2,762 rais (441.92 ha), of which 1,853 rais (296.48 ha) are occupied by 66 factories (as of August 2007). Of these 66 factories, 16 have a total of 45 emission stacks. Emissions from these point sources were included in the study of the Project’s impact on air pollution.
The assessment of the Project’s environmental and social impacts was conducted from January to August 2005. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was submitted to the national EIA authority, the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEPP) on 22 August 2005. Subsequently, four supplementary documents were submitted to ONEPP, the last one on 28 August 2007, to clarify and provide additional details on operations. The Project is expected to receive environmental clearance from ONEPP soon. The Project has received all permits required for various operations from the concerned national and provincial authorities. It is now ready for implementation.