“Waste Not, Want Not.“
Meet Asean’s biggest waste to energy factory.
TPI Polene Power Co., Ltd (TPIPP) produces and sells electricity to EGAT (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) and its parent company, TPI Polene Public Company Limited (TPIPL), the third largest cement manufacturer (approximately 12 million tons/year) in Thailand. The company, registered in 1991 produces electricity from waste heat, RDF (Refused Derived Fuel) and coal, and currently produces 180 MW of electricity from RDF, derived from MSW (Municipal Solid Waste).
TPIPP uses approximately 7000-8000 tons of MSW per day, eliminating 6.5 to 7 million tons of CO2 equivalents from the globe each year, making it the biggest waste to energy (WTE) company in ASEAN and the biggest complete waste-to-energy power plant in one location in the world.
The company espouses a zero waste policy, recycling all of the waste it brings in, including plastics, sand, stone, steel and other aggregates. The organic materials pass through TPIPP’s MBT (Mechanical and Biological Treatment) plant and the leftovers are subsequently used as low-grade RDF (used in power plants after blending with high-grade RDF) ensuring that 100 percent of the waste sent in is utilized. This is also made possible by the use of both the Grate boiler system, which uses MSW directly, and the Continuous Fluidized Bed boiler system, which sorts out the waste first.
TPIPP has pledged to use MSW to its fullest potential. By modifying its original machineries and equipment, the company has developed the techniques and steps that are most suitable for the undertaking.
In recognition of its significant contributions to waste reduction, TPIPP received the Thailand Energy Award 2014 from the Ministry of Energy’s Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, an accolade it has received a further five times since. The company also received the ASEAN Energy Award in 2014 and 2017.
2017 marked a major milestone for the company when it became a public-listed company in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with shares snapped up by financial institutions from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and England. The company hit the 1 billion/quarter mark (approximately 1251 million Baht) for the first time in the second quarter of 2019. Notably, the company has hit that milestone five other times since then.
The company, which currently employs over a thousand staff, provides providence funds, free medical care and other benefits to its employees. In return, TPIPP encourages its employees and management staff to learn new techniques as operational standards, rules and regulations are still being announced in the nascent WTE (waste to energy) industry.
Additionally, the company offers quarterly tours of its facilities and eliminates the local community’s waste for free as part of its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities.
Furthermore, the company uses a “CSR-in process” approach in its business model. For most companies, CSR initiatives are a burden and go against their profit-making goals. Since the company uses waste as its raw material, the company’s profit increases as more waste is being eliminated. Therefore, the more waste the company eliminates, the more electricity it produces and sells, garnering more profits in the process.
TPIPP believes that good governance is more than just transparency, and includes being able to live in harmony with the surrounding communities. The company feels that sustainability is a critical element in the new paradigm of the world. As such, it has committed to taking stewardship of the environment and fostering mutually beneficial relationships with local communities as part of its ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals.
“An outstanding organization with a very unique business proposition, TPIPP is a case study on finding riches in what others consider waste. With a solid staff care plan, and far-reaching community impact, TPIPP embodies the new world order of things.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group