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Jakarta Post

Asian Agri to optimize excess supply from biogas power plants

  • Stefani Ribka

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Wed, November 16, 2016   /  03:55 pm
Asian Agri to optimize excess supply from biogas power plants Alternative power: Visitors observe a biogas power plant owned by palm oil heavyweight PT Asian Agri in Riau on Nov. 15. The plant produces gas from oil palm waste to power a palm oil mill nearby. (JP/Stefani Ribka)

Palm oil heavyweight Asian Agri is seeking buyers of its excess electricity being produced by its biogas power plants in Sumatra that have been in operation since last year.

Asian Agri, a subsidiary of the Singapore-based Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) conglomerate group, currently has five biogas plants: two each in Riau and North Sumatra and one in Jambi, each capable of producing up to 2 megawatts (MW).

Asian Agri's Buatan I Plantation mill manager Parnel Siagian said the firm was interested in selling the excess power supply to any party, including state electricity company PLN.

“Our negotiations with PLN is still in its initial phase. We hope to hear good news from them, but in the meantime we are also open to other parties that are interested [in buying the electricity],” he said Tuesday.

The 5 x 2 MW plants are used to power daily operations of the firm’s five palm oil mills in the respective locations, however, only 700 kilowatts are used from each plant so there is 5 x 1.3 MW excess available for sale to other parties.

Parnel said if PLN was interested in buying, the state operator could potentially power 35,000 small households.

The five power plants, running since 2015, are fired by biogas produced from palm oil mill effluent (POME), the waste water discharged from the sterilization process, crude oil clarification process and cracked mixture separation process. POME produces huge amounts of methane gas from its anaerobic process.

Asian Agri targets to build 15 more biogas power plants with 2 MW capacities each by 2020 to power its kernel oil factories, whose construction are also in the pipeline. (hwa)

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