Putting Palm Oil Mill Waste Into Optimum Use

PALM oil mill effluents in Sabah are not being used to their optimum value and the government is studying ways to improve this.

“Like all materials, they can be put to different uses, such as

fertilisers, for biomass power generation or for downstreaming

activities,” Plantation Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said in Kota

Kinabalu yesterday.

There are 421 mills in the country, with

124 mills in Sabah. Together, they generate some 19.5 million tonnes of

biomass in dry weight annually, including oil palm trunk, fronds, empty

fruit bunches, mesocarp fibres and palm kernel shells.


addition to the current 5 per cent replanting rate, another 33.3 million

palm oil trunks or 17.5 million tonnes are made available annually.

“There are available technologies to convert biomass into high

value-added products, such as pulp, plywood, medium density fibreboard,

particle board and many other wood-based products.

“We just have to figure out what is most valuable for us,” he said.

Dompok added that the government will continue efforts to identify measures to promote zero waste approaches.

One way is the raising of tariffs from 21 sen up to 35 sen per

kilowatt hour for biomass waste, in order to encourage more mills to

produce renewable energy.

“To promote the environmentally

friendly nature of the oil palm industry, the government encourages palm

oil mills to install biogas trapping facilities. This, I am sure will

provide the necessary incentives for the mills to produce renewable

energy from palm oil mill effluents.

“These facilities could

be used to generate electricity either for own consumption or grid

connectivity. In addition, this measure will contribute towards reducing

greenhouse gas emission from palm oil mill effluents,” he said.

Source : Business Times

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