TANA mobile waste shredder produces fuel in Thailand

Thailand is responding to the growing demand for electricity with a network of small Waste-to-Energy (W2E) plants. Agon Pacific’s TANA 440DT mobile waste shredder produces fuel for one of these W2E plants from factory-rejected car tires that are unfit for road use.

TANA 440DT mobile shredder
© Tana

TANA 440DT mobile shredder
© Tana
In Prachinburi/Thailand, a yellow TANA 440DT mobile shredder swallows rejected tyres and spits out small chunks of rubber. At the same time, the machine separates the steel used for reinforcing the tyres. “The benefit of the TANA is that it does not only cut tyres but shreds them, allowing any metal to be separated from the rubber and nylon to be incinerated. The separated metal is so pure that our customers can sell it directly onwards as a recycled material,” says Tommi Ijäs, co-founder and CEO of Agon Pacific, founded in 2011. Since 2019, Agon Pacific has been providing fuel to Green Power Energy Co., Ltd., which generates electricity from shredded tyres. “Approximately 2 to 3 % of new tyres do not meet the quality requirements. Our customer's boiler requires small pieces measuring about 50 by 50 mm, which our TANA waste shredder is easily capable of producing from tyres.”

 

Growing population creating demand for waste incineration

In its Waste-to-Energy service model, Agon Pacific uses a TANA 440DT to produce tyre shred that is suitable for incineration on behalf of the customer. “Much of Thailand’s electricity is based on gas imported from Myanmar, but Myanmar increasingly needs the gas itself. We want to create solutions for the Waste-to-Energy business, for which there is a clear need both in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.”

As the population continues to grow in Thailand and also elsewhere in Southeast Asia, more electricity needs to be produced and also in a more environmentally friendly way. For this reason, Thailand is investing heavily in Waste-to-Energy production. The country’s vision is a decentralised electricity generation system, with the construction of about a hundred small waste-fired power plants in 76 provinces throughout Thailand. “Because power plants in a decentralised system are in the order of 8 to 10 mW, there is no need to renew the existing grid infrastructure. This means there is a huge demand for the processing of combustible materials.”

 

Mobility enhances productivity

From the outset, it was clear that the equipment needed to shred tires had to be durable and energy efficient. "In addition to capacity, it was vital to us that a single piece of equipment would be able to produce several different sizes of shred and run on fuel that is widely available everywhere.”

Shredded tyres
© Tana

Shredded tyres
© Tana
An ideal tool proved to be the TANA 440DT mobile shredder, which moves on tracks and runs on biodiesel. Among other criteria, the benefits included maintenance that is easy to anticipate by means of remote monitoring. “The importance of durability combined with the predictability and ease of maintenance is emphasised when the machines are used to shred material for incineration. If the shredder is being repaired, the power plant will not receive the fuel it needs to operate, and the mountain of tyres that the customer has procured for fuel will continue to grow,” says Ijäs.

The mobile shredder covers longer distances on the back of a truck, but on the worksite it can travel short distances on its own. Agon Pacific operates the shredder at a terminal in Prachinbur, located approximately halfway between the tyre plant and the Green Power Energy power plant. “In operating, the biggest advantage of the mobile shredder is the flexibility it offers. We are able to move the machine on site according to the shredding need, so feeding from the piles of tyres is easy. At the end of the day, we can drive it into the shelter for the night.”

 

A mobile shredder is equally valuable in any location

Mobile shredders are also more cost effective than fixed shredding lines. They reduce the cost to the service provider, thereby reducing prices of the shredded material to a level that customers are willing to try. If the cooperation discontinues, the shredder can simply be moved elsewhere, Ijäs says. “Fixed shredding lines are tied to one place, whereas a mobile shredder is equally valuable in any location.”

Agon Pacific’s mobile shredder handles approximately 10 000 t/a of tyres a year for Green Power Energy. In addition to serving its anchor customer Green Power Energy, the mobility of the shredder has enabled Agon Pacific to expand its Waste-to-Energy business. When the shredder is not needed in Prachinbur, Agon Pacific has transported it to work 300 km away at another customer’s RDF waste incinerator. “The shredder is easy to move overnight to a new location. It has proven to be extremely effective at the RDF plant, as the small size of the shredded material it produced has helped increase the plant’s output by up to 20 %,” Ijäs says.

At the same time, part of the rapidly growing Waste-to-Energy business in Thailand involves opening and replacing old landfills with modern waste treatment centres. Old waste is dug up and cleaned from the soil. Agon Pacific’s services have indeed expanded to landfills, where the plastic cleaned with a mobile shredder is shredded into suitably sized pieces for power plants. As with decommissioned tyres and RDF, this is also in line with Thailand’s energy strategy.

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