Afolau Biomass Gasification Power Plant opens as the first of its kind in Samoa and the region
“UNDP is fully committed to working with the Government of Samoa in addressing the threat of climate change. Samoa has shown great dedication in combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, amongst other commendable actions,” said UNDP Resident Representative, Jorn Sorensen.
“The launching of this Plant has proven to the region and the world that Samoa remains true to its word and means business when it comes to climate-proofing its future. The Biomass Gasification Power Plant has made Samoa an example to other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to emulate in the wise use of its indigenous biomass resources as a sustainable energy resource, as well as incorporating it with Samoa’s other developments in areas like agriculture as demonstrated by STEC.”
Construction for the Biomass Gasification Power Plant began in February 2019 and ended the same month in 2020. It was connected to the EPC grid in April 2020.
The main contractor for the project was Ankur Scientific Energy Private Ltd, an Indian-based company that is world renowned for this technology and have built similar systems worldwide, with local subcontractor Ah Liki Construction Ltd for the civil works. Local contractor, Transworks Ltd, cleared the land and prepared the three acre land on which the Plant is built, as well as constructing the security fence around the property. King Construction is the other local contractor responsible for procuring heavy equipment from abroad for cutting and harvesting wood for the preparation of the feedstock for the Plant.
As the Plant is built on Government land in Afolau, under STEC, and the forest of evasive trees is on this STEC land, the Plant has been assigned to STEC to run as a business. STEC and EPC have entered into a 20-year-long Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) for STEC to operate and maintain the Plant to generate electricity and sell to EPC.
Biomass gasification is a process whereby wood chips are dried before feeding inside a gasifier in which, without oxygen, produce syn gas at very high temperatures then cooled down before using to produce electricity from gas generators. Weeds and invasive species like tamaligi, puluvao, coconut logs, husks and coconut shells are chopped up and used as fuel to feed the biomass gasifier. The gas produced from these will be cooled and pumped into generators to produce electricity that will feed into the EPC grid.