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Enriching People’s Lives With More Sustainable Palm Oil Manufacturing Listen with ReadSpeaker Articles

Enriching People’s Lives With More Sustainable Palm Oil Manufacturing

Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil. Ice cream, toothpaste, shampoo, detergent, and biodiesel are just some of the consumer products that make use of the oil. More than 62 million tons of palm oil are produced worldwide, with over 90% of it in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

To produce the oil, the pressed palm fruits are refined through processes that require considerable amounts of water. Each ton of fruit produces over five tons of wastewater, half of which is viscous and acidic palm oil mill effluent that cannot be returned to the environment without treatment.

DKSH provided the necessary expertise to Univanich Oil Palm Research Center to ensure that as much as possible of the energy contained in the effluent can be recovered and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. The center is internationally recognized for its advanced breeding program supplying high-yielding seeds and seedlings for local farmers and exporting to sustainable oil palm growers around the world.

The company’s five factories in Thailand produce over 230,000 tons of crude palm oil annually. Four of its factories have biogas reactors that break down the wastewater through anaerobic bacteria to produce methane that is captured and used to generate electricity from gas generator engines.

Treated waste liquid from the anaerobic digester can further be used for other oil processing steps, keeping the overall consumption of clean water to a minimum. Having reliable and advanced biogas generator sets meant that all by-products produced by Univanich in Thailand are either used within its plantations as a source of organic fertilizer or sold to third-party buyers for energy conversion.

At DKSH, our purpose is to enrich people’s lives. We do so by providing reliable access to high-quality and responsible products and services, creating sustainable value for our partners, and contributing to raising the quality of life in the communities we operate in by generating jobs, perspectives, and opportunities for people’s development and growth.