Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Palm oil mills may supply green electricity

Dompok: Palm oil mills may double as IPPs


BATU PAHAT: Malaysia may consider green energy from the palm oil industry as an additional power source to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the 411 palm oil mills in the country were potential independent power producers (IPPs) of green energy.

He said the mills could generate energy from palm oil mill effluent (POME) as biogas and other biomass as green energy, which could then be sold to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

Palm oil mills in rural areas could assist in the Government’s effort to supply electricity to people there, Dompok said after visiting the Bell Eco Power Sdn Bhd biogas plant in Parit Ju near here.

He said unlike in the peninsula, which has enough electricity supply from fossil fuels-run power plants, and Sarawak from hydro power, Sabah could look at palm oil mills as a source of electricity.

It would be more economical to utilise the mills as producers of green energy as most of them were located in the interior parts of Sabah, Dompok said, adding that the Government would assist the mills to connect to the electricity grid.

The RM13mil Bell Eco Power plant is Malaysia’s first clean development, mechanism-based, biogas grid-connected renewable energy (RE) plant.

It is also the first RE producing green electricity for TNB’s open ring system.

Dompok said the green IPPs could also assist the country to produce electricity that was sustainable and renewable.

He said that apart from funding, the Government should also consider increasing the tariff on green energy from 21 sen per unit to between 29 sen and 40 sen.

Dompok said the low tariff was the main reason oil palm producers were not keen to become green IPPs, as the initial capital needed to set up a power-producing plant was high.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marks & Spencer promotes commitment to sustainable palm oil

12/01/2010 (Mad.co.uk) - Marks & Spencer has lined up with Sainsbury’s, Unilever and other companies to promote its commitment to sustainable palm oil production.

The M&S initiative could see other retailers and brand owners following suit to promote their own commitments to sustainable palm oil.

Palm oil is used in thousands of fmcg products from cosmetics to food and has become a contentious issue for retailers and fmcg manufacturers as its production is blamed for the destruction of rainforests and companies.

M&S has launched a print campaign to tell the public about its use of GreenPalm certificates to cover its entire palm oil usage and its commitment to using 100% sustainable palm oil by 2015.

Sainsbury’s uses its product packaging to tell consumers about the use of sustainable palm oil in individual products and Unilever already uses its online platform to communicate its strategy to consumers and has already reached 15% of the target, with plans to double its use of sustainable palm oil each year.

In October last year, Sainsbury’s and M&S took the top two spots in The WWF’s first ever score card which evaluated the sustainable palm oil policies of 59 global companies.

Palm Oil Production To Grow By 5-10 Per Cent In 2010

12/01/2010 (Bernama), Kuala Lumpur - Crude palm oil production is expected to grow by 5-10 per cent in 2010, said ECM Libra Investment Research.

However, the production in the near term is expected to ease amid lower output cycle, it said in its research note Tuesday.

The industry achieved some 17.6 million metric tonne in production last year, down by one per cent from 2008's output of 17.7 million metric tonnes.

"(Hence), there is no shortage of crude palm oil in the industry," it said.

On price, ECM Libra said that the current crude palm oil prices were not reflecting the fundamentals but rather just sentiments on commodities and was also led by the decline in the U.S dollar.

"As such, it may be the case that crude palm oil prices beyond RM2,500 per tonne will not be sustainable into February or March when the typical yearly production down-cycle ends," he added.