Mitsubishi explores biomass co-firing for geothermal plants in Indonesia

Mitsubishi explores biomass co-firing for geothermal plants in Indonesia Geothermal plant, Indonesia (source: PLN)
Alexander Richter 30 Mar 2022

Mitsubishi Power is exploring the potential of using biomass in co-firing geothermal power plants in Indonesia and is engaging on relevant research.

Japanese Mitsubishi Power is interested in applying biomass (wood pellets) co-firing to geothermal power plants (PLTP) in Indonesia, as reported by KataData.

Co-firing biomass in geothermal power plants is considered an optimal short-term solution in achieving the 23% renewable energy mix target by 2025 to become carbon neutral by 2060.

Previously, this subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries had signed a memorandum of understanding with PLN and its two subsidiaries, PT Indonesia Power and PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali, as well as the Bandung Institute of Technology in reviewing the application of co-firing to PLTP.

Mitsubishi Power Indonesia President Kazuki Ishikura said that the national clean energy goal would require a systematic exploration of various energy sources, one of which is biomass as a low-carbon and renewable fuel source.

“As a valuable renewable resource, this has the potential to drive Indonesia’s energy transition in the near future,” he said in a written statement, to KataData March 30, 2022.

To achieve the 23% renewable energy mix target by 2025 and become a carbon neutral country by 2060, Mitsubishi’s proposal states that co-firing of biomass in geothermal power plants, where geothermal accounts for a high percentage of the electricity generation mix, is the optimal short-term solution. The proposal also outlines the necessary initiatives and challenges that need to be addressed in promoting the use of biomass co-firing.

As a proposed facility improvement, there are two power plants being considered, namely the Paiton Unit 1 Power Plant in East Java and the Suralaya Unit 2 Power Plant in West Java.

This policy proposal to promote the use of biomass co-firing in Indonesia was submitted after a study was conducted on the two facilities. Based on the proposal presented, Mitsubishi Power will conduct grindability and combustibility tests at the MHI Research & Innovation Center (Nagasaki) on biomass fuel which is seen as promising in terms of volume and composition.

Mitsubishi Power will continue to support the implementation of biomass co-firing while ensuring the sustainable use of Indonesia’s abundant forest resources and excess agricultural residues.

Going forward, Mitsubishi Power will continue to work closely with the Indonesian and Japanese governments, the PLN Group and ITB to support Indonesia in achieving its decarbonization goals.

In formulating this proposal, the five MoU signatories collaborated in selecting the appropriate biomass fuel components, determining the scope of required facility upgrades, and evaluating economic aspects. The proposal integrates the PLN Group’s expertise in operating various geothermal plants in Indonesia and Mitsubishi Power’s biomass co-firing technology , and reflects local policy analysis and biomass fuel market research conducted in Indonesia under the leadership of ITB.

“Mitsubishi Power is honored to be collaborating with the PLN and ITB Groups on this policy proposal as we explore innovative decarbonization solutions that can support Indonesia in realizing a more sustainable and secure energy future,” said Ishikura.

Until 2025 Wood pellet fuel components and potential biomass fuels are the fuels proposed in this plan. Moreover, both are available in large quantities and can be obtained stably at low cost in Indonesia. In addition to the potential for stable procurement, fuel components are also proposed based on their suitability for use in existing generating facilities and considerations on economic aspects. A supply chain study was also conducted.

Source: KataData