In addition to reducing the amount of GHG that our mills emit into the environment, the biogas plants are reducing GHG emissions arising from the combustion of fossil fuels by generating electricity for domestic use.
Two (2) of our biogas capture plants in our palm oil mills in FPI Umas and FPI Serting Hilir have successfully generated electricity for the local area since 2013. These plants can generate up to a maximum of 1.2 megawatts of electricity.
In Umas, the electricity is channelled to residential areas, schools, offices and commercial complexes. Umas residents, prior to the construction of the plant, depended on power generated from diesel generators. Meanwhile, the electricity generated by the Serting Hilir plant is being fed back to the national grid.
Biomass power plants utilise the burning of organic waste to produce electricity and steam. Our Sahabat Biomass power plant built in Lahad Datu, Sabah, in 2004 is the first EFB based Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in Malaysia. It is also the first in the world to run on 100% treated EFB. This Sahabat Biomass power plant supplies steam and electricity to the neighbouring industrial premises, offices, residential areas and a resort.
The plant is rated to have a 7.5 MW turbine generator with a maximum capacity of 16 MT/hr steam boiler. We are pleased to announce our second biomass plant in FELDA Jengka 9, Pahang, expected to start operation by 2016. This biomass power plant is an advanced renewable energy plant with a design capacity of 12.5 MW that will be able to consume EFB at a rate of 320,000 tonnes annually. This plant complies with the Acceptance Test by Sustainability Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia and is operational, supplying power to the national grid in 2016.
Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) is suitable for conversion into renewable fuel feedstock. Our biomass residue of EFB is shredded and utilised as solid fuel for the operation of steam boilers. This utilisation of EFB as a fuel for firing steam boilers delivers significant cost savings because the by-product can be put to economical use rather than becoming a waste product.
FGV is proud to showcase our maiden EFB biofuel plant located in Semenchu, producing a total of 2729.77 MT pellets since 2015. These pellets are produced using EFB from our palm oil mills and is commercially sold to third parties for power generation as a replacement for conventional fossil fuel.
FPI also develops dried long fibre and EFB shredded fibre by converting EFB as a low value waste to high value environmental friendly renewable products. These dried long fibres were processed from shredded EFB to be sold as raw material for industrial applications such as mattress manufacturing.
Our composts are derived from aerobic decomposition of EFB mixed with POME. These composts are very practical for maintaining soil moisture, preventing soil erosion, and also serve as an effective alternative source of weed control. Palm oil mills also produce other biomass by-products apart from EFB, they include Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) and Decanter Cake. PKS is a high grade renewable biofuel resource and is widely-used as feedstock for boiler, pyrolysis process, gasification process and also cement manufacturing process. On the other hand, Decanter Cake is the solid sludge separated from the POME which can be directly used as organic fertiliser or to be blended with EFB fibre for the production of organic composts.
Our research on biogas has led to the establishment of the first commercial scale palm-based Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG) plant in Sg. Tengi, Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor. A collaboration between Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd (FPI), the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Sime Darby, the plant demonstrates that biogas can be used on a commercial scale producing 80,000 million BTUs of Bio-CNG annually. Bio-CNG is a viable alternative to fossil fuels and commenced commercial production for its first customer in April 2016.