Monday, December 30, 2013

Cooperation between Angkor Rice and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities

A world-first technology is turning tonnes of waste into bio-fuel and could transform the way the Kingdom approaches agriculture.

Southeast Asia GLOBE

A world-fist technology is turning tonnes of waste
into bio-fuel and could transform the way the
Kingdom approaches agriculture
By Amanda Saxton

A top a massive furnace billowing with heat, one can peer through the flue into the inferno. It is a mesmerizing sight: waves of flame keep rice husk wheeling, condemned to an embodiment of the bible’s “eternal fire”.
                Adisorn Chieu, the Cambodia managing director of local producer Angkor Rice, stands nearby. “TORBED” technology is the future of rice husk technology,” He says, confident that this huge reactor – the first of its kind installed anywhere in the world will revolutionize Cambodia’s rice industry.
                Despite the status of rice as Cambodia’s undoubted food staple, the Kingdom’s rice industry lags behind that of its neighbors in term of both production and processing. Viet Nam can grow up to ten tonnes of rice per hectare, While Cambodia produces just three.
                According to figure from the Ministry of commerce, rice exports doubled in the first seven months of this year. To keep up, the processing sector requires revolution. The rice industry misses out on premium export price because mills cannot cope with the increasing supply, meaning unprocessed rice is sold for nominal prices to Vietnam, where processing costs are minimal.
                Rice mills, along with most Cambodians, are crippled by the cost and supply of electricity, with prices more than twice that of neighboring Vietnam. Most rice millers have their own diesel generators to ensure consistent power, but these are dirty, barely cheaper and do nothing to mitigate waste. Hence a revolution is indeed taking place, with mills turning to their own waste to power operations.
                Rice husks constitute about 20% of rice’s weight and are a mill’s main waste product.  Currently, they are often burned in the open or dumped in rivers, where they release methane as they decay. However, they make perfect biofuel for gasifies – converters that can power small- and medium-sized plants by turning waste products into energy. The requisite gasifier systems’ initial costs depend on the size and make of machinery, but emancipation from the expensive grid reduces dependency on diesel to about 30% of most producer power needs.  In theory, gasifier systems allow a rice mill to cut its electricity costs in half.
                A lake of capital provides the main barrier to jumping on this renewable energy bandwagon. Hence organization such as SNV, a development body from the Netherlands, step in to find financing option for the mills. Together with SME renewable energy, the Cambodia business selling gasifiers, they promote the technology to rice millers throughout Cambodia.
                 According to Ira Larasaty, SNV’s waste- to-energy program leader, “copycat gasifiers” pose a different type of problem: Their lake of quality renders them prone to breakdown, which sabotages the system’s reputation for efficiency and cost-reduction. Furthermore, bio-char is a waste product produced by gasifiers that can contaminate water and soil without proper treatment, while burnt rice husks contain levels of crystalline silica, which is carcinogenic. 
Future machine: Angkor Rice has embraced the expensive and
large-scaled TORBED technology (above); a schematic diagram
of the gasifier process (below)

“Accumulated solid waste is an issue that needs attention…. Most millers do not apply any treatment to gasifier wastes due to a lake of funding and lake of support,” said Larasaty.  “One of the objectives is to introduce a technology that is environmentally responsible and sustainable. This can be achieved by joining force with technology provider who are confident and can demonstrate that their systems are efficient and cost effective.”
                For Large mills with capital aplenty, the TORBED reactor solves both electricity and waste problem. At Angkor rice headquarters near Phnom Penh, this multimillion-dollar, two megawatt power plant stands adjacent to it processing mill. Tonnes of stockpiled rice husk is conveyed into the furnace and burnt evenly at about 760c.
                 The operation is dauntingly high-tech, although it retains some Cambodian character: Above the buttons and knobs, dials and monitors, there hangs a golden Buddhist shine. According to Adisorn Chieu, this reactor halves the mill’s costs and they are plant to build another.
                Unlike gasifiers and alternative large scale power generators in Cambodia, the TORBED reactor burns husks very evenly, resulting in amorphous silica, which , crucially, is non-carcinogenic and can be sold as a product in itself for use in the construction industry. The reactor also eliminates the need for diesel, making it a particularly eco-friendly power generator.
                However, the convoluted technology means the team at Angkor Rice are dependent on knowhow and resource from abroad. “[TORBED technology] is the promising and potential for larger plants is huge as long as the support systems – trained operators, maintenance, funding etc – are implemented,” said Larasaty.
                Biofuel from rice husks could play an important role in two of Cambodia’s projected goals. By increasing mills’s efficiency, the government’s aim to export one million tonnes of rice in 2015 could be realized, and with excess power from gasifiers and the TORBED reactor being sold to villager, biofuel could help the government’s scheme to electrify 70% of households by 2030.
                “With gasifiers there is some failure, some success,” said Chieu. “TORBED is perfect for us, because here in Cambodia we have high electricity costs and plenty of rice husks.” 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Torftech Energy’s Malaysian JV signs MOU for a second 5MWe Rice Husk power plant in Cambodia

Angkor Kasekamroong Roeung Co Ltd (“Angkor”) and TORCHE Energy Sdn Bhd signed an MOU to develop Cambodia’s second TORBED based combustion system utilizing rice husk as a fuel.

Torftech Energy is supplying its “state-of-the-art” TORBED based combustion system utilizing rice husk as fuel to generate electricity at all of these new plants in Cambodia. These TORBED combustion systems will be manufactured and supplied through Torftech Energy’s newly formed Malaysian Joint Venture, TORCHE, which will also provide the Engineering, Procurement and Construction for the project.

The same unique proposition saw recent success in Vietnam; where the opportunity to produce a non-hazardous high quality ash helped win a pipeline of projects for Torftech Energy. The production of such an ash provides considerable advantages over conventional combustion plants as the ash can be used as a cement substitute for enhancing concrete strength. The ash generated, using the proprietary TORBED combustion technology developed by Torftech from United Kingdom, has the trade mark ‘Agrisilica’ that guarantees its quality and enables the export of the ash to major economies in the region. This is one of the key factors that permit the additional investment costs that result when using more advanced European Technology.

Mr Jeffrey Lamb, Head of UK Trade & Investment in Vietnam, witnessed the signing and commented; “It is fantastic to see Torftech Energy being so successful in South East Asia and providing a low carbon solution to both a waste and an energy security issue. It is especially encouraging to see an innovative British company developing strong partnerships across multiple countries in the region.” 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nearly harvested, Neang Malis new crop 2013

My life, my country and my Neang Malis rice field.

Field survey indicates good yield, good production, fragrant and very promising!

By Angkor Rice
1st November 2013

Kampong Speu - Angkor Rice staffs went down to the field to check the crop condition yesterday. Kampong Speu is the main province under the contracted farming of Angkor Rice, beside from that are Kandal, Kampot and Takeo.

Base on the report, Mr. Chieu Chu said that the crop is in perfect condition, "the farmers are happy for this year. there were no drought and there were not much diseases". He added that the crop should be ready to be harvested in another 1-2 weeks time.
Chief of the Angkor Agriculture Association and the members taking photo with Angkor Rice staffs.

Angkor Rice has been working with farmers in order to grow Neang Malis fragrant rice for more than 10 years. "This is the 12th years we have been working with the farmers" Mr. Pa, Angkor Rice agriculture promoter said. "We created hope and good job to the farmers not only in our member area, but it has lifted the whole rice industry of the whole country".

Mr. Sombath, a chief village in Khom Prey Rumduan, Kampong Speu province said, "we will support the company as the company is very honest and sincere to us". He expects the price of the crop will be highest comparing to the other rice variety because the advice from the company.

"All of our villagers grow rice for the company, the rice can be grown only 1 time a year but the yield and the price is good to support my nieces to enter a university in Phnom Penh", he told us proudly.

Rice is almost ready for harvest.

Members of Angkor Rice who works on the field for more than 12 years in Kampong Speu.

Let's ride, ask me, I shall give you fragrant rice.

Motorbike with trunk, bringing students to school

The condition of the rice is almost ready to be harvested, the water in the field was also pumped out.

Carefully taking care, the rice will be the pride of the country, the pride to the King.

Monday, October 21, 2013

China Daily: Nation set to bolster the import of rice

Chinese rice importers visited Angkor Rice

Updated: 2013-10-18 08:08
By Zhong Nan (China Daily USA)

The government is expected to further lower the bar on rice imports, in a bid to boost the country's food supply, industry experts said.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center forecast that the country's rice output will drop 0.7 percent year-on-year to 202.8 million metric tons in 2013, indicating the rice production is falling after stable output growth for a decade.

As the world's biggest rice consumer, China imported between 500,000 and 600,000 metric tons of rice per year until 2012, when local prices lost their competitiveness against rice imported from neighboring countries.

Ding Shengjun, a senior researcher at the Academy of the State Administration of Grain, said that adverse weather and floods in major rice-growing regions, such as Hunan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, have curbed the country's rice output and deepened reliance on imports.

During a visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Bangkok this month, China agreed to raise the amount of rice to be imported from Thailand over the next five years to 1 million metric tons per year.

"After decades of efforts to pursue higher outputs, China's rice sector is seeing a decline in competitiveness," Ding said. "The government has realized that the country's rice farmland needs a break after years of heavy use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides."

The country accounts for 26 percent of the world's rice production.

Like other Asian countries, China has implemented policies to encourage rice cultivation by guaranteeing minimum purchase prices. But after almost a decade of increases, rice prices are now well over those seen in international markets.

The China National Grain and Oils Information Center said the per hectare rice production level has also declined, with the rice yield per hectare falling 1.7 percent to 6.7 tons this year. However, the corn and wheat yields per hectare rose 2.6 and 1.6 percent, respectively.

"The fast pace of industrialization and urbanization has transformed a number of rice farmland areas into manufacturing facilities and residential housing projects. This transformation to a certain extent has gradually shifted the country's rice production center from the south to the north," said Wen Tiejun, dean of the school of agricultural economics and rural development at the Beijing-based Renmin University of China.

Wen said that outdated grain logistics services have also hampered the efficiency of the rice production system.

The northeast region is far away from the major rice consumption provinces, but the grain logistics system is not ready for that challenge yet.

For instance, rice transportation costs from Heilongjiang province to major consumer markets in Zhejiang and Jiangsu now account for about 30 percent of retail rice prices, according to a study by the Harbin-based Northeast Agricultural University. That puts extra pressure on logistics companies to satisfy rice demand during peak seasons, and offers opportunities for companies in South China to buy rice from neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Ding Lixin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, said that the increasing rice imports stem from the notable price differences between foreign and domestic rice.

He said that rice imports will be kept at a high level if domestic rice prices continue to rise before the Lunar New Year, which will be in late January 2014.

However, domestic prices might be capped by the increase in imports.

"Under such circumstances, sufficient rice supply from the global market and the low import prices from countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have all become important elements subduing the rising pace of Chinese rice prices," he added.

Chinese rice importers visited Angkor Rice

Monday, July 8, 2013

King Sihamoni, Queen Mother and Samdech Hun Sen visit AKR: picture gallery

By Angkor Rice
8 July 2013

King Norodom Sihamoni, Queen Mother and the Prime Minister, Samdech Hun Sen, visit Angkor Rice today.

The King Norodom Sihamoni.

H.E.Chan Sarun, Cambodian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was explaining to the King about the rice variety grown in the research field at Angkor Rice.

Queen Mother and the King were paying attention for the explanation from the Minister Chan Sarun. 

The King and the Prime Minister were inspecting the Angkor Rice packing process.

The King and the Prime Minister were discussing about the Cambodian rice industry at Angkor Rice. 

The King gave a present to Angkor Rice president, Mr. Chieu Hieng.
Somdech Hunsen greeting Angkor Rice staffs.

King Sihamoni, Somdech Hun Sen the Prime Minister and, Somdech Kong Som Ol Cambodian Minister of Royal Affairs were providing a chance for a group photo session with Angkor Rice executives.
The King and the Prime Minister were checking the rice husk power plant at Angkor Bio Cogen.

The King and the Prime Minister were checking the rice husk power plant at Angkor Bio Cogen.