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St1’s pilot to produce advanced ethanol from cassava waste starts in Thailand

Nordic energy group St1 has completed the construction of Etanolix® pilot plant at Ubon Bio Ethanol Ltd’s starch and ethanol plant site in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. In the project St1 is piloting its own technology to produce advanced ethanol for transportation using cassava pulp as feedstock. The pilot plant will be operated for a year in several starch factories to test different environments, conditions, and seasonal changes. The pilot phase is essential to finalize the concept for a full-scale ethanol production plant using cassava pulp into an investment proposal. St1 has founded a subsidiary in Thailand, St1 Renewable Energy Thailand Ltd, to run the piloting and R&D of cassava pulp ethanol production process.

“Our team consisting of members of both companies, is very excited to reach the piloting phase. The construction of ethanol production pilot equipment has been carried out in very good cooperation with our local partners in Thailand”, says Patrick Pitkänen, Advanced Fuels Director for St1 Renewable Energy. ”Cassava waste is known to be a challenging feedstock due to its fibrous consistency. St1’s experiences of using Cellunolix® technology to produce ethanol from saw dust helped to solve the challenges involved in the processing of fibrous feedstock materials. Equally it is important to carry out the R&D in local environment by local people in order to utilize all their valuable know-how of the feedstock and conditions, continues Patrick Pitkänen.”

The aim of the project is to start construction of the first commercial plant after the pilot phase. The amount of cassava waste generated by Thailand’s largest starch production plants would enable the construction of units producing 10-30 million liters of ethanol per year. According to Patrick Pitkänen, the goal is to build up to 20 Etanolix® plants in Thailand, with a total production capacity of 400 million liters of ethanol per year.

“Etanolix® piloting, at UBE site in Ubon Ratchathani, will enable ethanol production from starch production’s by-products, i.e. wet pulp. With more than 100 starch production plants in Thailand, there will be more than sufficient feedstock for Etanolix® project. If the pilot testing had a positive result, the concept of commercial plants would be potentially applied to other domestic starch plants and nearby counties. This development will add value to this by-product and improve the economics of cassava starch industry.”, states Daechapon Lersuwanaroj, the president of Ubon Bio Ethanol, Thailand.

For further information, please contact:

St1 Renewable Energy, Patrick Pitkänen, Advanced Fuels Director, tel. +358 105 574 734, patrick.pitkanen@st1.fi

St1 Renewable Energy (Thailand), Antti Aromäki, Managing Director, tel. +669 2397 0503 antti.aromaki@st1.fi

Ubon Bio Ethanol, Anchisa Krisanarungkhun, Business Development Manager, tel. +662 273 8666, anchisa@ubonbioethanol.com

St1 Nordic Oy is a Nordic energy group whose vision is to be the leading producer and seller of CO2-aware energy. The Group researches and develops economically viable, environmentally sustainable energy solutions. St1 focuses on fuels marketing activities, oil refining and renewable energy solutions such as waste-based advanced ethanol fuels and industrial wind power. The Group has 1400 St1 and Shell branded retail stations in Finland, Sweden and Norway. Headquartered in Helsinki, St1 employs currently more than 750 people in Finland, Sweden and Norway. www.st1.eu

Ubon Bio Ethanol is a Thai company whose vision is to create entire value added business from agricultural materials, and promote friendly environment for sustainable development”. UBE group operate ethanol plant with a capacity of 400,000 Liters per day, cassava starch plant with a capacity of 700 tons per day, and renewable energy business.
Headquartered in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. www.ubonbioethanol.com

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