The Palm Scribe

Oil Palm Waste Turned to Pulp

Oil Palm Waste Photo
Photo by CEPhoto, Uwe Aranas

The Industry Ministry said that, working in collaboration with a Japanese company, it is now able to turn an oil palm waste, empty fruit bunch (EFB) into pulp for the country’s paper industry.

This “strategic effort” was realized at the Pulp and Paper Center (BBPK) in Bandung in cooperation with a Japanese consortium composed of PIC Co. Ltd and Taizen Co. Ltd which operates in the manufacturing se tor and the sales of machineries for the pulp and paper industry, a ministry release received by the Palm Scribe on Wednesday (12/2) said.

“The EFB waster can be made into a raw material for the paper and cardboard industry,” said the Secretary of the Industry Research and Development Board (BPPI) of the ministry, Restu Yuni Widayati. She added that for the palm oil industry, the effort could also “reduce the cost of processing and disposal of side products so far,”

Restu aired hope that the use of this technology could help contribute in overcoming environmental problems in Indonesia, especially in the palm oil as well as pulp and paper industries.

The Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) said that in 2019, the paper and paper product industry, printing and media recording reproduction contributed 3,95 percent to the non-oil and gas processing industry with a growth of 8,14 percent. The Indonesian Pulp and Paper Association (APKI) said that both domestic and global demand were continuing to increase by up to two percent.

“The current need for paper is dominated by papers for packaging. One of them is absorbed by the paper packaging industry, that is medium paper and liner to produce cardboard packaging,” BPPK Head Saiful Bahri said in the press release.

As substitute raw material for the pulp industry EFBs hold a high potential of usage., The use of these EFBs is also in line with the government’s wish to encourage the development of the downstream sector so as to obtain added value for domestically produced raw materials, Restu said.

Each weight unit of fresh fruit bunch (FFB) produces 21-23 percent of EFBs which so far been turned into fertilizers or used as fuel material in the palm oil industry. It is estimated that in the current conditions, the country’s oil palm plantations can meet the need for raw material for cardboards (medium linear) that stands at 45 million tons.

A ministerial regulation of the Agriculture ministry issued in December showed that Indonesia’s oil palm plantation covered 16.381 million hectares. Each hectare can produce around 750 kilograms of FFBs per harvest.

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