The Palm Scribe

Asian Agri to Inaugurate seventh biogas power plant in Jambi

JAKARTA — Asian Agri continues to show its commitment to contribute to energy supply by inaugurating its seven biogas-fueled power plants in Jambi next month, a company executive said Monday (6/11/.2017).

Renewable energy. (Photo illustration)

“We will inaugurate these power plants in early December 2017 in Jambi. We are still waiting for a definitive date from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry that will officially inaugurate it,” said PT Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Indonesia’s corporate communications head Ignatius Ari Djoko Purnomo. RGE is the mother company of Asian Agri.

He told The Palm Scribe that the biogas power plant project is part of Asian Agri’s contribution to the national energy supply from the palm oil sector, making use of waste from the palm oil processing system to produce methane gas.

Asian Agri is planning to build a total of 20 units of biogas-fueled power plants by 2020. It already has six similar power plants in a number of provinces, including in Jambi, in Riau and North Sumatra. The construction of the seventh plant had been started in 2015.

Purnomo explained that each of the power plants had a capacity to produce two MegaWatt of electricity and 40 percent of the produced power is used to meet operational demand while the remaining 60 percent are for the communities around the company’s operations.

“This 60 percent of capacity can supply 1,000 to 1,200 households at 900 Watt per house,” he said.

.Asian Agri is targeting to be able to provide electricity from its biogas-fueled power plants to a total of 28,000 households by 2020.

“Our homework is to seek ways to channel electricity to the consumers because the locations of the power plants are usually far from settlements,” Purnomo said.

Asian’s Agri contribution through its biogas-fueled power plants has already been recognized by the government. On September 2017, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry awarded the company with the Anugerah Energy Lestari (Sustainable Energy Award) 2017 for its achievement as the company that has build the highest number of biogas-fueled power plants.

The power plants make use of the waste produced by plantations and could become the solution for areas which have so far not been covered by the electricity network of the state utility company PT Perusahaan Listik Negara (PLN) (Persero.).

The biogas-fueled power plants have the several advantages, in that they can operate round the clock, is stable and reliable, is not affected by weather, is environmentally friendly and the solid residue can be used as fertilizer. The electricity produced is also relatively cheaper compared to that produced by diesel oil-fueled power generators.

Jambi, North Sumatra and particularly Riau, are areas that produce energy in the country, covering energy from hydrocarbon, gas and biogas.

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed that in 2013, palm oil plantation in Riau covered 2.2 million hectares and has the potential to produce 6.5 million tons of crude palm oil per year as well as 15.25 cubic meters of liquid waste. These liquid waste, if properly processed, have the potential of producing 90 MegaWatt of electricity and can reduce carbon emission by 568,000 tons in a year.

“The use of the waste from palm oil is an optimization of waste, turrning it into energy, which is one of Indonesia’s contribution in reducing glass house gas by 29 percent by 2030,” the directorate general for new and renewable energy and energy conservation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said in an official statement last year, according to Suara.

The directorate general has built three pilot projects of biogas-fueled power plant between 2013 and 2014 – the Pagar Merbau and Kuala Sawit plants in North Sumatra that has since been connected to the PLN power grid, and the Rokan Hulu plant in Riau that operates off grid and is supplying more than 2,000 households with electricity. All three plants are still in operation.

The pilot projects were expected to inspire other sides, especially the private sector, to invest in the use of waste from their plantation to generate electricity.

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