FGV Holdings Bhd plans to boost returns from its renewable energy projects as part of its recovery strategy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Haris Fadzilah Hassan said the waste-to-wealth initiative has always been an important element for FGV's business in view of the abundant resource derived from its plantation and mill activities.
Haris said these included producing biogas fuels (gas, solid and liquid) to generate power.
"This initiative can be enhanced further as part of the group's recovery strategy post COVID-19.
"We are reviewing the initiatives under the segment to come up with a solid plan that could be executed immediately," he said.
According to FGV, among the immediate projects that could be carried out were the power generation business through its biogas captures at its palm oil mills.
"Biogas is utilised as fuel for electricity generation via biogas engines to supply electricity to National Grid through Feed-In-Tariff mechanism governed by Sustainable Energy Development Authority.
"It is also used internally for rural electrification in Sabah generating electricity to power-up homes of settlers in Felda Sahabat, Felda Cenderawasih and Felda Umas," it said.
FGV is also carrying out cost optimisation initiatives in terms of fuel savings at its mills and plants.
The group expects to export palm kernel shells (PKS) to Japan as biofuel this year.
"The introduction of Japanese government renewable initiative to depend less on fossil fuel in 2012 has driven up demand, with Japanese PKS imports nearly tripling since 2015, to 1.3 million tonnes in 2018.
"Hence, offering a great opportunity for FGV to explore and penetrate Japanese PKS market, ahead of competition from Indonesia," Haris said.
FGV is also carrying out a joint-venture plan to build an empty fruit bunched (EFB) pulp and paper plant, potentially in Kuantan, Pahang.
The plant is expected to be completed in 2022 or 2023, utilising between half a million to one million tonnes of EFB annually.
"FGV is planning to set up Bio-CNG/Bio-LNG plants at potentially 35 of its palm oil mill through external investments, in addition to its FIT project, palm fibre oil extraction plants, biogas and renewable energy utility project in Sabah, which also involve external parties," he said.
Haris said the initiative was in line with Malaysia Energy Supply Industry 2.0 plan to have 20 per cent in renewable energy in energy mix by 2025.
"The Renewable Energy Division, which is under FGV Palm Industries Sdn Bhd, consists of by-products, renewable energy and zero investment projects relating to biomass produced from palm oil mills," he added.