Not long ago we wrote about the bog opportunity that palm oil plantation waste provides for renewable energy production, so we are pleased to be able to carry this article as Sawit announces the success its first biogas plant.
(The video below is about biogas from palm oil, but the company is not associated with the organisation described in the article.)
The Sawit Kinabalu Group on Thursday officially launched that itwill develop a biogas power plant at its Apas Balung estate refinery in Tawau, which has proven very effective in reducing the estate's electricity cost.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who officiated at the opening, is confident that the presence of the biogas plant will also help the Group's image as an environment-friendly organisation, apart from reducing its operational costs.
He said the State Government very much welcomed the initiative, in line with its policies and halatuju which emphasises on sustainable economic development.
"I would like to stress that the State Government is committed in developing this State without disregarding environmental conservation," he said.
He also hoped more oil palm companies would emulate the move by the Group by venturing into new fields like biogas power plant development, which not only contributes to protecting the environment but also boosts the development of renewable energy in the State.
The Group's Managing Director, Othman Walat, who was also present, said the biogas plant has helped in the Group's effort to increase its efficiency and profit to RM3.28 million per annum.
The biogas plant has helped the Apas Balung estate refinery in reducing its diesel utilisation cost by 85 per cent, he said, adding the percentage is equivalent to increasing the refinery's production income by RM1.14 million a year.
Othman said that apart from reducing the refinery's production cost, because of the diesel utilisation cost, the biogas plant was also built primarily to help reduce environmental pollution in the Balung area.
"I was informed by the surrounding residents that since the biogas plant began its operation, bad smell coming from the refinery has significantly reduced. The liquid waste discharge from the refinery also went down from 91-100ppm to 30-40ppm or equivalent to a 60 per cent reduction," he said.
He said the Group intends to continue with this effort to boost further its production income through its "turning waste into wealth" project, that is making use of the oil palm waste for various purposes.
Among its plans are to build a livestock feed production mill based on palm waste at the estate as well as seven more biogas plants for its other refineries within the next five years, he said.
This is in line with the Group's mission to create sustainable wealth by running environment-friendly business, he said, adding all these are part of fulfilling the organisation's corporate obligation.