Renewable Energy

 
 
Biogas plants capture methane emitted from anaerobic wastewater treatment ponds that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Methane is a high-impact Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and is created when palm oil mill effluent (POME) is stored in retention ponds. At our biogas facilities, POME from CPO production undergoes retention for a certain amount of time it before it is discharged into streams. Biogas produced during the degradation of POME is then used to generate power that is fed into the grid, or flared, ensuring that methane is not released into the atmosphere.

The establishment of biogas plants at our operations enable us to reduce our total operational emissions in pursuit of our targets. Our first biogas plant was built in 2009 at the West Oil Mill in Carey Island, our research hub in Malaysia. An open flare system ensures that there is no direct release of methane, which is 25 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.
 
Country Plant Established since
Malaysia Flemington

Hadapan

Merotai

West
 
2017

2017

2017

2018
 
Indonesia Pemantang

Rantau
2018

2018
 
Papua New Guinea Mosa

Kumbango
2012

2012
 
 
We have made meaningful progress in the implementation of green technology to reduce carbon emissions throughout our operations, and we are currently exploring other methane avoidance and renewable energy initiatives to reduce our emissions further and meet our carbon reduction target.

POME consists of water and a small portion of soluble components of palm fruit suspended materials like palm fibre and emulsified oil. Despite its’ biodegradability, POME cannot be discharged without being treated as it is mildly acidic and has a high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). The traditional way of treating POME is to retain it over a period of time through a series of anaerobic and aerobic treatment ponds which work by removing oxygen demand through natural microbial reactions. Rubber effluents are similarly treated in our rubber factories. The use of anaerobic treatment ponds, however, leads to biogas release, including methane emissions.

Trapping biogas for power generation and combustion is an efficient way to avoid methane being released back into the atmosphere. Through the introduction of biogas plants, we utilise biogas for power generation and where possible, electricity generated through biogas is fed back to the grid. Other possibilities include co-firing with other mill waste (such as fibre and shells) to increase energy self-sufficiency, flaring to avoid methane releases, and converting trapped biogas into compressed natural gas.
 
 
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