POME-to-Electricity (POME)

"Palm oil mill effluent contains methan gas that can be utilized as biogas power plants, in order to increase rural electrification"

East Kalimantan is among the top palm oil producing provinces in Indonesia together with other provinces in Kalimantan and Sumatra. The top two sources of GHG emissions from palm oil plantations are deforestation during the development process and palm oil mill effluent (POME).

The key policy for breaking the link between deforestation and palm oil development is improving the business permit licensing system by avoiding granting new permits in high conservation value areas.

The Governor of East Kalimantan has enacted a moratorium on new licenses for oil palm plantation, mining and logging concessions while improvements are made to the permit licensing system. Mitigating emissions from POME involves capturing biogas – more than half of which is methane – and using the methane to generate power (POME-to-electricity).

Palm oil mills produce large amounts of waste water and organic feedstock, which could be used for biogas production. While mills often utilize solid residues profitably, liquid waste treatment remains a challenge for many of them.

Aside from the need for high upfront investment, and the lack of power grid infrastructure, other challenges are the palm oil industry's unfamiliarity with technologies used in methane capture, and also in dealing with PT PLN to sell excess power.

GE-LAMA-I facilitates the establishment of partnerships to overcome these challenges. The partnership in East Kalimantan is led by the Governor and the provincial head of PT PLN, along with the heads of two partner districts. As a result, two palm oil mills have confirmed they will begin construction this year, while another 11 mills have been identified for potential further development.



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