Improvement of POME Treatment System at Palm Oil Mills, Malaysia

Global Environment Centre Foundation(GEC)

Reports of CDM/JI Feasibility Studies

Title of the researchImprovement of POME Treatment System at Palm Oil Mills, Malaysia
FYFY 2005
Main research orgnisationPacific Consultants International
Research partner(s)Pacific Consultants Co., Ltd, Det Norske Veritas Certification Ltd. (DNV)
Location of the projectMalaysia (Johor, Selangor, Kelantan, N. Sembilan, Sabah)
Summary of the research report (PDF)Summary
Description of the projectThis project aims to replace an open-lagoon POME (palm oil mill effluent) treatment system, which is currently adopted in 13 of the KLK’s palm oil mills in Malaysia, with high-efficient methane-free POME treatment plants, which avoid methane emission from the open lagoons and also contribute to an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development of palm oil industry in Malaysia.

Flow of New POME Treatment System
Sector of the projectBiomass Utilisation
Duration of the project activity/ crediting period2008 - 2027 / 7 years
Baseline methodology/additionalityBaseline scenario determination
Baseline scenario is determined as “Anaerobic treatment at open lagoon is continuously used as currently being practiced” using the proposed new methodology. The proposed new methodology consists of Step i: Identification of alternatives to the proposed project activity and screening based on laws and regulations of wastewater treatment and Step ii: Barrier Analysis.
The following baseline scenario alternatives are identified in Step i:
- Alternative 1: the anaerobic treatment at open lagoon (continuation of current practice)
- Alternative 2: the open-tank digester treatment
- Alternative 3: the closed-tank anaerobic treatment with electricity/ heat generation
- Alternative 4: the proposed project activity without CDM
Additionality Determination
The Project is determination additional according to the “Tool for the demonstration and assessment of additionality,” as published in Annex 1 of the sixteenth meeting of the Executive Board (EB-16).
Estimation of GHG emissionsProject Emissions
Since all the target mills currently consume and will consume in the future electricity that is generated by biomass generator, CO2 is not emitted as a result of the project activity.
Baseline Emissions
Baseline emissions consist of the methane emissions from an open lagoon wastewater treatment system, which is calculated as below:

Baseline Emissions (tCO2/yr)
Total COD
(t COD/yr)
(t COD/yr)
GHG Emissions Reduction by the Project Activity
GHG Emissions Reduction = 204,035 (tCO2/yr) - 0(tCO2/yr) = 204,035(tCO2/yr)
No Leakage is identified from the Project. High-efficient POME treatment plant separates and recovers solid wastes contained in POME, which are applied to palm oil fields after dewatering as fertilizer supplement. Since these wastes are carried to the palm oil estates using the existing fertilizer transportation system, new transportation system or vehicles are not required. And therefore, leakage is considered to be zero.
Monitoring methodologyMonitoring of the emissions in the project scenario
No data is monitored since no emission is expected during the operation of the project.

Monitoring of the emissions in the baseline scenario

Data source
Monitoring Method
COD concentration in raw effluent
(at CH4 free organic wastewater treatment plant inlet)
KLK’s laboratorykg COD/m3 raw effluent
Samples from each mill to be tested at KLK’s central laboratories. Measuring devices are to be calibrated according to the industrial standard.
Volume of raw effluent
(at CH4 free organic wastewater treatment plant inlet)
Operation centre at palm oil millm3 raw effluent
To be measured by flow meters at the plant. Measuring devices are to be calibrated according to the industrial standard. Data to be aggregated monthly.
Regulations and incentives relevant to CH4 emission from effluentNational/
regional legislation
To be checked according to law, regulation and national policy.
Environmental impactThe Project involves construction and operation of a POME treatment plant at the existing palm oil mill estate. According to the Malaysian Department of Environment, EIA is not required for the proposed activity under the Malaysian “Environmental Quality (Prescribed Activities) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Order 1987.”
The new plant complies with all the Malaysian environmental regulations, and has no significant adverse impacts on the surrounding environment.
Issues and tasks for project implementationProject Participants and Functions

KLK is planning to procure 70% of the total project cost using its own capital, and to procure the remaining 30% by the JCF (Japan Carbon Finance Ltd.) upfront payment scheme. The condition of this agreement is under discussion.