Leveraging on Palm Oil Innovation

The

field is now wide open for Malaysia’s palm oil mills to step up the

value-chain in providing millions of tonnes of palm oil and oil-palm

biomass for value-added downstream activities.

AT THE opening of Sabah’s first palm-pressed fibre oil exraction plant

in the once-thriving timber town of Keningau last week, the state’s

Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah imparted

some valuable lessons in value-adding and leveraging on new technologies

as sources of generating wealth.

Using the example of how

Penang-based Eonmetall Group Bhd has helped Malaysia gain a foothold to

lead in palm oil innovations by developing and holding the patent on

palm pressure fibre oil technology, Tan inspired confidence among those

present at the event – that Sabah can now tap technology by turning

waste into “gold”.

For a town like Keningau, which once rode the

logging boom until the late 1980s when its timber resources were

depleted, the fact that palm oil estates have appeared in some parts

recently should help the local economy.

The extraction

technology developed by Eonmetall is used to recover 5 per cent residual

oil content from palm-pressed fibre. This oil is traditionally used as

boiler fuel in more than 420 palm oil mills dotting the country.


Eonmetall last Thursday delivered the extraction plant to Kim Loong Oil

Mill, which is being viewed as a stepping stone to tap Sabah’s

estimated 122 palm oil mills.

Kim Loong is no stranger to maximising profits by extracting values out of crude palm oil (CPO) and palm oil mill wastes.

Its palm oil mill in Johor is being touted as the first registered

methane emission reduction clean development mechanism (CDM) project in

the world for biogas generated from palm oil mill effluents.

The company’s first solvent extraction plant in Johor, which was also

developed by Eonmetall, serves as what is believed to be the world’s

first.

From the time the Johor facility was commisioned in

September 2007 to July this year, the facility has produced a total of

4,513 tonnes of solvent- extracted red palm oil worth a total of RM11

million, which would have otherwise been burnt and lost in the boilers

of a conventional palm oil mill.

Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to jointly produce an estimated CPO output of 37 million tonnes this year.

Kim Loong Resources Bhd’s group executive chairman Gooi Seng Lim

notes that if the palm fibre oil extraction technology can be

successfully implemented in both countries, there is a potential for

925,000 tonnes of red palm oil that can be recovered.

And the

total value of the red palm oil at today’s price of RM2,700 per tonne

would translate into a whopping revenue of RM2.5 billion.

With the unleashing of the palm fibre oil extraction technology, the

number of downstream applications which can be developed is countless

and not limited only to palm oil entrepreneurs, but other industries as

well.

The field is now wide open for Malaysia’s palm oil mills

to step up the value-chain in providing millions of tonnes of palm oil

and oil-palm biomass for value-added downstream activities.

Innovation has always been the trademark of successful entrepreneurs and

what better way is to turn “useless into useful” while sparing the

environment in the process.

Source : Business Times

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