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Energy project extended to tapioca, shrimp

THAILAND - The Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department, together with the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) agency, have signed an agreement to extend collaborative implementation of the "Energy and Eco-Efficiency in Agro-Industry Project" (E3Agro).

The project focuses on extending the successful model for renewable energy production and energy efficiency improvement in the palm oil industry to the tapioca starch industry.

Panich Pongpirodom, director-general of the department, said the focus would continue to be on utilising biomass energy.

Thailand's agro-industry has the potential to produce 3,000 megawatts of biomass energy worth Bt35 billion per year.

This is in line with the national energy policy, which aims to generate 8 per cent of the country's total energy from renewable sources by 2011, as well as improve production processes and energy efficiency. This will reduce fuel imports by more than Bt120 billion.

"The E3Agro project aims to improve energy production and energy efficiency in target agricultural sectors, including the tapioca starch industry and ethanol production," said Juergen Koch, country director of GTZ Thailand.

Overall potential for productivity gains in the tapioca starch industry is estimated to be Bt4 billion-Bt5 billion per annum, while the reduction of energy use in shrimp farming could be worth Bt5 billion a year. E3Agro aims to reduce the energy cost of shrimp farms to enhance the competitiveness of shrimp exports, which are worth about Bt10 billion annually.

Source: The Nation

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