Integrated Bio-energy Facility in Riau, Sumatra




STC is leading a consortium of international and local organizations dedicated to reducing GHG gas emission reductions through the production of renewable energy from biomass. The project is sponsored by Energy and Environment Partnership of Indonesia, an initiative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland.

The project consortium consists of Maris Projects BV, a Dutch company specializing in POME biogas capture and bioremediation with microalgae production; PT Forest Carbon, an Indonesian GIS company committed to forest conservation; Indonesia Clean Power Ventures, an Australian bioenergy business incubator; and Perkumpulan Elang, an NGO in Riau focussed on resource conservation and community development.


Over the past decade, Indonesia has emerged as the world’s top producer of palm oil – in 2011 over 21 million metric tons of palm oil was produced on 9+ million hectares. And Indonesia is expected to continue expanding production at 8-10% per year. Unfortunately, this production has a cost:Indonesia is the world’s third highest emitter of GHGs largely due to land conversion and an energy sector based on fossil fuels. Within the Province of Riau, the state electricity company, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) provides service for less than 60% of the population while isolated systems rely on diesel for power generation.

In Kabupaten Siak, Province of Riau (Sumatra), STC has developed an integrated model for a facility that can utilize multiple waste streams for energy production: plantation biomass from senescent oil palm trees, non-food grade waste fruits, waste oils from processing mills, and biogas from palm oil mill effluent (POME). Unlike single-stream facilities, the integrated model enhances synergies by using solid, liquid, and gaseous feedstocks to produce heat, electricity, and other biomass products. The facility will produce over 10MW of green power for direct sale to PLN while generating a planned 90,000 carbon credits.


STC and its partners rely on innovative, proven technologies to maximize the energy production potential of waste streams for energy production. The planned facility utilizes custom biogas reactors and pond covers with internal paddle-wheels to maximize biogas production and capture from POME. To further reduce COD and BOD levels before effluent is released for land applications, algae are cultivated in open pond systems.

For energy production, solid plantation biomass is pre-treated with heat recovered from the biogas combustion before being converted with cutting edge gasification technology. Excess supplies of non-food grade oil palm fruits and waste oils from the production facilities are used for the production of PowerOil, is a low cost alternative to traditional fossil fuel, diesel, and pure refined vegetable oil.

Finally, to ensure that the biomass supply chains are reliable and sustainable, the application of GIS technology is integrated with an interactive Google Earth tool to monitor land use change, calculate GHG emissions savings, and optimize feedstock flows.