Siam cement biomass
Fuelling cement production with farm waste
The Siam Cement Biomass Project involves the modification of five cement manufacturing plants in Thailand to use renewable biomass fuel instead of fossil fuels. The project has led to substantial emission reductions as well as other significant environmental and socio-economic benefits.
Thailand relies heavily on the burning of fossil fuels to supply electricity to its population and industries. In addition, cement production is a highly emissionintensive activity: it is estimated to account for 5% of total man-made CO2 emissions globally. The five cement plants previously burned a mix of fossil fuels in their kilns. Thanks to the project, these have been replaced largely by renewable biomass such as rice husks, wood-processing residues and other agricultural waste. The costs of modifying the existing plant and establishing new supply chains were substantial. There were also significant technology risks and technical barriers, as the Siam Cement Group was the first company in Thailand to adopt the new technology.
The additional revenue from the sale of carbon credits provided the necessary incentive to justify this investment. Benefits Beyond Carbon Reduction Thailand is an emerging economy depending heavily on the agricultural sector, and is the number one exporter of rice in the world. Rice husk is typically left to decay, resulting in methane emissions with high global warming impact. The fine particles can also lead to localised respiratory problems. Using waste rice husk avoids these problems. Furthermore, the project has created supply chains and manufacturing processes for renewable biomass fuels, increasing their availability for local use. This has led to local job-creation as well as generating supplementary income for farmers. The project has also funded and implemented a range of social and environmental programs which benefit the communities in the areas around the cement factories. These include building over 6,500 check dams for upstream forest conservation, providing school scholarships, operating mobile health clinics and supporting the development of small-scale local industries.
" This VCS-accredited project provides a genuine financial alternative to fossil fuel based power generation whilst significantly benefiting the local community."
" Climate Friendly is committed to finding powerful ways in which voluntary carbon offsets can create real and lasting change."