Indonesia to Boost the Development of Palm Oil Waste Power Plant

Arfi Bambani
Palm oil waste biogas power plant in Sei Mangkei, Simalungun, North Sumatra
Palm oil waste biogas power plant in Sei Mangkei, Simalungun, North Sumatra - The Indonesian government optimizes the use of alternative energy sources from Palm oil waste biogas power plant  (PLTBg) to achieve the target of a new renewable energy mix in the country. The potential is enormous because Indonesia is the largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world.

Director of Bioenergy, Directorate General of New, Renewable Energy, and Energy Conservation of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Edi Wibowo, said that the achievement of bioenergy plants until 2021 was still at 1,921 megawatts, far from the 5.5 gigawatts target which is planned to be achieved in 2025.

"The achievement of PLTBg is still quite low, at 120 megawatts. This can be optimized to achieve the target of achieving the energy mix. From 2022 to 2024, 50 megawatts of PLTBg are expected to be realized," said Edi in a statement in Jakarta, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

Indonesia is the largest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world because it has a large plantation area and a massive palm oil mill. In 2018, the area of oil palm in Indonesia reached at least 12.8 million hectares and more than 850 palm oil mills were mostly concentrated in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Not only processed as food ingredients, cosmetics, and household cleaning supplies, palm oil has also become one of the mainstays in the development of new renewable energy in the country. All palm oil waste can be used as a carbon-neutral energy source, including biogas which can be produced through processing palm oil mill effluent (POME) using anaerobic digester (AD) technology.

A study on the utilization of POME waste in Indonesia has been carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources with the German government's Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Security and Consumer Protection (BMUV) through the Deutsche Gesselschaft für Internationalle Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The study explained that the progress of biogas utilization achievement from POME until 2021 was 28.39 million cubic meters. This figure represents only 5.9 percent of the 2025 biogas target based on the General National Energy Plan (RUEN), which is 489.8 million cubic meters.

One important point in the National Action Plan for Sustainable Oil Palm Plantations (RAN KSB) 2009 - 2024 is to increase the use of palm oil products as renewable energy in the context of energy security. Director of Processing and Marketing of Plantation Products at the Ministry of Agriculture, Dedi Junaedi, said that so far the Ministry of Agriculture has issued at least 759 certificates for oil palm plantations, whether managed by the state, private sector or smallholders.

According to the Chairman of the Indonesian Biogas Association, Muhammad Abdul Kholiq, the certification is certainly beneficial to improve the economy of oil palm plantations.

Meanwhile, Nusantara Plantation Holding Business Practitioner Leonardo Alexander Renatus Pane said Perkebunan Nusantara manages 10 companies that will be directed to maximize the utilization of palm oil waste. In areas with a surplus of electricity supply, POME processing will be directed to co-firing boilers and bio-CNG production.

Similar to this approach, PT Dharma Satya Nusantara (DSN) as one of the industries that initiated the development of Bio-CNG in Indonesia also balances the use of POME for electricity and non-electricity needs by 50:50. POME has great potential to meet domestic energy needs, both electric and non-electric. Not only that POME also plays an important role in mitigating greenhouse gases with the potential for emission reductions of up to 42.6 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Tag # palm oil # indonesia palm oil industry # palm oil waste biogas power plant # energy sources # palm oil industry # indonesia biodiversity

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