Palm oil is one of the key commodities contained in various products that we use in our daily lives. Vegetable oils, cosmetics, soaps, toothpaste, biodiesel, and medicinal products are some examples of the final forms of processed palm oil that we often encounter. However, before becoming these products, palm oil must go through several stages in the process.
First of all, the mature oil palm fruit is harvested in the form of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) and then within 24 hours it is brought to the factory for processing. At the mill, FFB goes through a sterilization process using steam to kill enzymes that can have a negative impact on FFB and release FFB from palm bunches. After the FFB is released from the bunch, the fleshy part (mesocarp) will be processed into crude palm oil (Crude Palm Oil or “CPO”) and the hard seed part in the middle/palm kernel can be processed again to produce palm kernel oil (Palm Kernel Oil or “Palm Kernel Oil”. PKO").
The processing process in this factory produces 4 types of waste, namely empty fruit bunches, palm shells, fiber, and liquid waste commonly called Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME). Solid waste in the form of empty leaves is returned to the garden land to be used as supplements and mulch (to retain moisture) while solid waste in the form of fiber and palm shells is used as boiler fuel used for power generating machines and to support the heating process in the FFB processing at the factory. Liquid waste or POME produced should not be freely discharged into rivers because it has the potential to pollute the environment. The palm oil extraction process does not use chemicals so that POME does not contain toxins but indiscriminate disposal of POME into rivers can affect oxygen levels and ecology in the river. In Indonesia, almost all factories use an open pond system to process POME so that later it can be partially disposed into rivers safely, used as fertilizer for oil palm plants themselves, used as water supplies for oil palm plantations or through further processing to be used as fuel for Biogas Power Plants ( PLTBg).
In 2019, Eagle High Plantations (EHP) built the Sukadamai Biogas Power Plant (PLTBg) project to manage POME waste from a palm oil mill in South Kalimantan and officially began its operation in 2020. The result of this biogas project is a renewable resource that generates electricity with a capacity of 2,400 kW. The electricity generated from the biogas project is supplied to PLN to support electricity needs in the South Kalimantan region. By using this renewable resource, the Company can reduce emissions by 24,000 tonnes of CO2 throughout 2021.
In this power plant, POME waste can be processed into electricity so that there is a reduction in carbon emissions. This reduction in carbon emissions will be registered in a mechanism to obtain carbon revenue for the Company.
EHP is committed to managing the environment and strives to always implement business practices that minimize the impact on the environment. Through various initiatives that convert liquid and solid waste into renewable energy, EHP is optimistic that it can continuously reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions whilst carrying out the Company's operational activities.