Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cassava-run biomass plant closer to fruition

Cassava-run biomass plant closer to fruition

Cassava-run biomass plant closer to fruition

A planned biomass plant run on cassava in Battambang province looks ever more likely after a trial period with 100 farmers was successfully completed.

Idemitsu Oil & Gas signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in 2012 to explore the development of biofuels in Cambodia.

The first phase of the Japanese firm’s three-year feasibility study was to assess whether farmers in Battambang province – an area plagued by unexploded ordinance – could provide the amount of cassava required to power such a biomass plant, said CMAC director general Heng Rattana.

“The feasibility study was completed after two years and it was found that investment is feasible. The company now is focusing on the second phase of the study: the feasibility of investing in and constructing the plant itself,” he said. “They are looking for a site to construct the biomass plant, however, it has not been made official yet.”

Cassava production from at least 15,000 hectares will be needed to supply the facility. Idemitsu currently has 100 hectares of farms under contract, which is set to scale up to 2,000 hectares due to the trial period’s success.

Chhim Vichara, director of Battambang province’s Agriculture Department, said that the plant will provide a sustainable market for local farmers and allow them to be less dependent on the Thai market.

“More processing plants mean farmers will be less worried about having a market for their products,” he said.

Cassava production in Battambang province doubled from 2 million tonnes in 2013 to about 4 million tonnes last year.

Idemitsu Oil & Gas’s Phnom Phnom office declined to comment yesterday.

According to a press release from Idemitsu when it signed the MoU, the company expects to produce up to 200,000 kilolitres of ethanol yearly by 2020.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all