Powering Palm Oil Processing Plants

Mictroturbines to run on POME biogas, provide stand-alone power

Posted on April 4, 2014

Capstone Turbine Corp. received two orders totaling 3 MW to provide power to palm oil processing plants in Malaysia.

The company said the orders are the first phase of what is expected to be a total of 15 MW installed over the next three years and mark Capstone's first order in the palm oil production market. The microturbines will run on palm oil milling effluent (POME) biogas produced as a byproduct of the palm oil extraction process, and will provide 100% of the power to the facilities in a stand-alone capacity.

Conservative estimates place the potential POME biogas production from all palm oil mills in Indonesia and Malaysia at more than 50 million m3/yr, equivalent to power generation capacity of more than 800 GW.

Generating onsite power with the waste from the palm oil extraction process provides increased efficiency in the manufacturing process by using the palm remains that would otherwise be discarded, Capstone said. Reliance on the local grid is eliminated, ensuring stability and uptime in the around-the-clock manufacturing process.