Tana mobile waste shredder gives Agon Pacific a foothold in Thailand's waste [...]

Published 8/7, 2021 at 18:27

Tana mobile waste shredder gives Agon Pacific a foothold in Thailand's waste to energy market

Thailand is responding to the growing demand for electricity with a network of small waste to energy (W2E) plants, with Agon Pacific’s Tana 440DT mobile waste shredder now producing fuel for one of these plants from factory rejected car tyres that are unfit for road use.

In Prachinburi, Thailand, a Tana 440DT mobile shredder reduces rejected tyres to small chunks of rubber and separates the steel used for reinforcing the tyres. “The benefit of the Tana (shredder) is that it does not only cut tyres but shreds them, allowing any metal to be separated   from the rubber and nylon to be incinerated. The separated metal is so pure that our customers can sell it directly onwards as a recycled material,” says Tommi Ijäs, CEO of Agon Pacific. Based in Bangkok, Agon Pacific’s main lines of business include manufacturing boiler pressure parts and boiler maintenance services. “Rather than building new boilers, our job is to make existing power plants operate longer and with better efficiency,” Ijäs says. 

In recent years, the company has expanded its operations in Thailand to the booming W2E business. Since 2019, Agon Pacific has been providing fuel to Green Power Energy Co., Ltd., which generates electricity from shredded tyres. “Approximately 2% to 3% of new tyres do not meet the quality requirements. Our customer's boiler requires small pieces measuring about 50mm x 50mm, which our Tana waste shredder is easily capable of producing from tyres.” 


Demand for waste incineration

Ijäs knows Thailand and its society well. He moved there from Finland as far back as 1997. As in many other countries, the circular economy and the reuse of various types of waste are topical issues in Thailand. “There is effective waste management in Thailand’s cities, although drivers of garbage trucks still spend a lot of their working time sorting garbage. There is no waste management in the countryside, where a large part of the rubbish is collected in barrels and then incinerated at regular intervals,” Ijäs states. For Agon Pacific, the evolving energy and waste management sector means new business opportunities. 

In a country with a growing population, there is a need for services that make the circular economy more efficient. In its W2E model, Agon Pacific uses a Tana 440DT to produce tyre shred that is suitable for incineration on behalf of the customer. “Much of Thailand’s electricity is based on gas imported from Myanmar, but Myanmar increasingly needs the gas itself. We want to create solutions for the waste to energy business, for which there is a clear need both in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.” 

As the population continues to grow in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, more electricity needs to be produced in a more environmentally friendly way. For this reason, Thailand is investing heavily in W2E production. The country’s vision is a decentralised electricity generation system, with the construction of about a hundred small waste fired power plants in 76 provinces throughout Thailand. “Because power plants in a decentralised system are in the order of 8MW to 10MW, there is no need to renew the existing grid infrastructure. This means there is a huge demand for the processing of combustible materials,” says Ijäs. 


Mobility enhances productivity

An important factor behind the service agreement signed between Agon Pacific and Green Power Energy was the equipment operated by Agon Pacific. From the outset, it was clear that the equipment needed to shred tyres had to be durable and energy efficient. Furthermore the shredder moves on tracks and runs on biodiesel. For Agon Pacific, the mobility is an important advantage as it has proved to be more cost effective than fixed shredding lines. “Fixed shredding lines are tied to one place, whereas a mobile shredder is equally valuable in any location,” Ijäs says. 

Agon Pacific’s mobile shredder handles approximately 10,000t of tyres a year for Green Power Energy. In addition to serving its anchor customer Green Power Energy, the mobility of the shredder has enabled Agon Pacific to expand its W2E business. When the shredder is not needed in Prachinbur, Agon Pacific has transported it to work 300km away at another customer’s RDF waste incinerator. “The shredder is easy to move overnight to a new location. It has proven to be extremely effective at the RDF plant, as the small size of the shredded material it produced has helped increase the plant’s output by up to 20 %,” Ijäs says, who is so impressed with the Tana, that he is considering selling them himself.

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