On December 12, 2022, Green Earth Institute (“GEI”), an investee of PIEF, and Electric Power Development Co.,Ltd. (“J-Power”) entered into a research agreement and started research on the production of fuel pellets using waste oil palm trunk(OPT*1) to realize a combined business integrated green chemical and biofuel production utilizing non-edible biomass generated in oil palm plantations in Thailand.
Palm oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world and is used in a variety of applications, including food, detergents, and cosmetics. Therefore, Its global production is expected over 79 million tons in 2022(*2). The oil palm plantations responsible for this huge production regularly conduct tree replanting every 20 to 25 years to maintain the yield of palm fruit, resulting in a large amount of oil palm trunk are released every year.
While this OPT is usually chipped and buried in the plantations, it has been pointed out that improper treatment may cause environmental problems by inducing the generation of greenhouse gasses such as methane, as well as pests and diseases, so that proper utilization is required.
The OPT contains a large amount of sap, which is used as raw material for chemical production by GEI’s fermentation technology, and its fibrous portions can be used as the raw material for fuel pellets. The combined production of both will help to convert large amounts of OPT, that was previously discarded, into higher valued products, effectively utilizing resources and increasing the profitability of the entire plantation. Such combined business initiatives are expected to contribute to the healthy development of the palm oil industry, which supports the production of palm oil used worldwide. They are also exploring business opportunities in Indonesia and Malaysia as the major producers of palm oil.
The agreement was signed as GEI, a company with biorefinery technology, and J-Power, which provides electronic development business aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, will jointly consider the combined business using OPT.
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Green Earth Institute Press Release