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22 July 2022

TTCL joins hands with Blackwood Technology, investing in Demonstration Plant for torrefied biomass pellets by using “FlashTor®”

Blackwood’s innovative torrefied technology, for the first time in Thailand in Lampang Province, to accelerate the commercial scale plant development.

-The project will help reduce uses of coal, minimize burning of agricultural residues, and reduce PM2.5 and carbon dioxide emission, as well as increase Thai farmer revenues, and enhance business competitiveness while being environmentally friendly-

Lampang, Thailand, July 22nd, 2022 – TTCL Public Company Limited and Blackwood Technology, a Dutch cleantech company under TTCL, jointly organized an inauguration event of a torrefaction demonstration plant, or the Demo Plant, which is a stepping stone to Thailand’s biomass upgrading by using Blackwood’s proprietary “FlashTor®” torrefaction technology with a multi-million dollar budget. The project is aimed at Thailand’sbiomass upgrading to promote clean energy from agricultural residues which helps reduce uses of coal for electricity generation as well as other fossil fuels while enhancing business competitiveness through environmentally friendly processes that achieve carbon neutral products.

The inauguration event was honored by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Thailand, H.E. Nishida Kazuya and the representatives from Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, Provincial Office, Local Government Office as well as business alliances and prospective customers.

Aside from this successful launch of the Demo Plant, TTCL is ready to obtain for subsidy from the Japanese Government to build Thailand’s first commercial-scale torrefaction plant.

Mr.Hironobu Iriya, President & CEO of TTCL Public Company Limited, or TTCL, revealed that the company has already started the engineering work of the demonstration plant with more advanced technology in order to develop torrefied biomass pellets using Blackwood’s proprietary “FlashTor®”, the torrefaction technologythatturns low-grade plant biomass into a high-grade solid biofuel, commonly referred to as torrefied pellets, black pellet, or bio-coal. In addition, the purpose of the Demo Plant is twofold including 1) to showcase the “FlashTor®” torrefaction technology and its effectiveness to prospective customers and project developers and 2) to produce test volumes for potential offtakers of torrefied pellets so that they can create an effective business plan. 

“The production of black pellets is the development of a renewable energy to replace fossil coal. The Demo Plant will enable both project developers and end-users to realize the effectiveness and sustainability of carbon reduction supply chain, reducing the preceding concerns of both parties. That is, while end-users had not thoroughly tested FlashTor® torrefied pellets, project developers could only invest in a torrefied plant if there were long-term buyers for the product. Most importantly, this new facility is also proof of our commitment to develop a black pellet business in Asia. Our goal is to set up sixcommercial scale factories with 450,000 TPA capacity in total, and each 75,000 TPA in Thailand” added Mr.Iriya.

TTCL Plc. and Blackwood Technology jointly announced a proactive plan by applying for subsidy from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan under AGGP (Asian Green Growth Partnership) to build the first commercial-scale torrefaction plant with capacity of 75,000 TPA using Blackwood Techology’s “FlashTor®” in the northern region of Thailand and will subsequently expand black pellet businesses in Thailand and other ASEAN countries. At the core of the expansion plan using “FlashTor®” technology lies utilization of biomass and agricultural residues which is in line with Thailand’s new development model focusing on BCG Economy - Bioeconomy, Circular Economy and Green Economy to propel Thailand’s economy toward the sustainable development by means of bringing in science, technologies, and innovation to sustainably improve competitiveness for the country’s key industries, one of which is the energy and material industry. Science, technologies, and innovation will enhance efficiency of the existing producers and businesses such as farmers and communities, as well as open the door of opportunities for new entrepreneurs who create value-added and innovative products. In addition, it will support the development of innovation involving Circular Economy in which product and process design are carried out under the policy of Eco-Design & Zero-Waste and focus on the management of agricultural residues by improving its quality to replace uses of coal.

Mr. Maarten Herrebrugh, Chief Executive Officer of Blackwood Technology, said that Blackwood Technology joined forces in building the Demo Plant with maximum flexibility in order to show that the FlashTor® technology can process different types of biomass including wood biomass and agricultural residues. This project is the first result of our partnership with TTCL, which combines Blackwood’s best-in-class torrefaction technology with TTCL’s capabilities as an integrated EPC company.

Mr. Maarten Herrebrugh added that in addition to TTCL’s plan to deploy additional black pellet plants in ASEAN countries, Blackwood is also in active discussions with prospective customers in other areas who are interested in FlashTor® technology for their torrefaction projects.

Blackwood Technology makes use of the outstanding characteristics of the technology including:

  1. Scalability, a cost-effective investment compared to other technologies
  2. Good Process Control, an efficient use of raw materials and energy which results in a complete torrefaction process, thus reducing waste in production, and
  3. Safe Operation, which ensures good control over the production process with high safety

The technology will increase capacity at the industrial-scale production, ensuring that every process of the production is safe, which will gain acceptance among customers and confirms the efficiency of our FlashTor® technology.

Torrefaction Process

Torrefaction is a thermal pre-treatment technology to improve the fuel and handling characteristics of biomass and to reduce costs in the biomass-to-energy supply chain. Torrefied pellets (aka black pellets) are a carbon neutral, high quality solid biofuel, which can replace fossil coal in power stations, steel plants and coal gasification plants, using the existing coal infrastructure. In addition, the higher energy density of torrefied pellets results in substantial reduction of logistics cost in the biomass supply chain. 

About Blackwood Technology

Blackwood is a Dutch cleantech company under TTCL, focusing on the torrefaction of biomass. Blackwood’s leading and proven FlashTor® technology turns forestry and agricultural residues into a high-grade solid biofuel. Blackwood’s core business is the sale of FlashTor® systems and licensing of the FlashTor® technology to the developers of torrefaction projects.

About TTCL Public Company Limited

TTCL Public Company Limited (TTCL) is an integrated Thai Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) and investment company. TTCL was formed in 1985 as the joint venture between two leading international engineering and construction companies from Japan and Thailand: Toyo Engineering Corp. and Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd.  Today, the company is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Traditionally, TTCL’s EPC business focused on petrochemical, chemical, fertilizer plants as well as power generation projects. In recent years, TTCL shifted part of its activities onto renewable energy and environmental projects. In 2017, TTCL started investing into biomass renewable projects and is currently setting up a torrefied pellet business. In 2020, TTCL became a shareholder in Blackwood.

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