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Finance GreenWatch » 9.Energy » Rice husks to fuel Ajinomoto’s Thai plant (Nikkei)

Rice husks to fuel Ajinomoto’s Thai plant (Nikkei)

ajinomoto無題TOKYO — Japanese seasonings maker Ajinomoto will introduce a heat and power system that uses rice husks as fuel at its factory in the Thai province of Ayutthaya.

This will be the company’s first time using what is known as biomass cogeneration. And rice husks, or hulls — the hard coverings on grains of rice — are a relatively rare choice for fuel.

Ajinomoto will invest roughly 4 billion yen ($36.5 million) to install a new steam turbine and other equipment, aiming to get the system up and running in February 2016. The Thai factory currently uses a heavy-oil boiler.

The new cogeneration system will generate a total of 18 gigawatts of electricity per year. This will enable the factory to cover roughly 30% of its electricity needs in-house.

Thailand is dotted with rice mills and produces 2.8 million tons of husks every year. About 20% of the husks are simply discarded. Ajinomoto expects to use 90,000 tons of husks annually.

The company also plans to switch to a husk-fueled cogeneration system at its Indonesian factory.

Filed under: 9.Energy