Talking about Biogas and the Palm Oil Industry in Indonesia

This picture was taken around June 2019. Are you familiar with the round shaped object that I was observing? 

It is called a lagoon, covering thousands cubic of methane from the anaerobic process of POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluent) – wastewater from the palm fruit processing. After some time on the lagoon, the mixture of the waste and bacteria digestion produces methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide through an absence of oxygen chemical reaction. It is one of the waste-to-energy concepts, with an objective to reduce harmful substance of waste from the industrial process by changing it into less environmental damaging and producing energy. 

Less than 10%1 of around 800 palm oil mills in Indonesia utilized this waste to energy technology. It means this waste-to-energy is not a popular one, for now. The hype on coal power alternative in Indonesia was still dominated by the natural gas power, hydro, and even wind. Aiming on the equal island development, this technology might be worth of full deployment in the island of Sumatera, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. On the island of palm oil, this technology could solve:

  1. Waste problem from the biggest “exported commodity product” of Indonesia.
  2. Scarce of electricity in remote area, whereby transmission and distribution infrastructure are still absent.
  3. Increase the awareness of palm oil industry to move forward on more responsible palm oil business.
  4. Create more jobs on the power generation sectors.

Giving you a bit of contextualization, some palm oil mill can have up to 2 x 1 MW of biogas engine. It produces on around 80% load, capable of powering the whole mill operation. Only challenge is the fluctuated load during the day because unlike coal power plant, palm oil mill does not operate 24 hours.

One of the challenges is the high production cost producing electricity. Data from2 mentioned on the high operation cost, engine maintenance takes 39% of overall operation cost surpassing the labor and digester maintenance itself. The maintenance in biogas is a bit more complicated than the natural gas power plant. Biogas contain unwanted H2S which gives the high acidity; hence it is called the sour gas. Sour gas is highly oxidative and corrosive which make the technology needs specific characteristic of engine. On the maintenance point of view, a lubricant that has superior oxidative and corrosive resistance is vital to ensure the engine reliability. That is why biogas engine needs specific lubricant.

How can policy affect?

Starting from the current condition and wish on the vast and rapid deployment, what support are needed? Incentive. This is what keep investor interested and willing to invest.

  1. Carbon credit

The certificate of right to produce certain amount of carbon emission for their activity, which is gained from other party through a trading mechanism. Example:

The concept of Clean Development Mechanism, one of the mechanisms under Kyoto Protocol. It is ensuring the Annex country which had an emission target to purchase carbon credit from non-Annex countries (Indonesia is on the list as developing country). The form of CDM is any project results on the emission reduction: biomass, energy efficiency, renewable power generation, waste-to-energy, and transportation. The purpose of the concept was effective to boost the acceleration of lower emission technology deployment, some of the case in Indonesia: Sarulla geothermal power plant (330 MW), Kalimantan peat land carbon storage and sequestration, and of it is the palm oil waste to energy projects.

Example case:

Australia as one of the Annex I country had a binding emission targets of 1,000 tonnes of carbon emission. However, they can emit 1,500 tonnes of carbon, by purchasing 500 tonnes worth of credit from Indonesia. Indonesia itself, generate this credit by conserving peatland and tropical forest in Kalimantan which prevented 500 tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere, which can happen due to the illegal land use and fire. Then, Indonesia get currency as the return which can be used for funding the conservation project and incentivize other green technology.

It is interesting on the carbon emission trading market and how we are expecting a 2024 ready market, maybe I will write a specific topic on the carbon market.

  1. PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)

The PPA is vital in the case of bigger investment decision, where the installed capacity exceed the demand from in-situ electricity demand. The excess, if possible then fed into the PLN grid. Investor needs to secure an acceptable price within some period of project, to ensure their project is giving desired return on investment. This PPA has been long discussion between PLN and Biogas power investor, as reaching mutual interest acceptability seemed difficult.

Reference:

*ESDM Regulation 12/2017 Article 5 sentence 3 declares the maximum tariff of bought price for alternative energy power plant. For biogas powered gas engine, it is 85% from the regional cost of electricity production.

*ESDM Regulation 50/2017 about the production cost of electricity.

There is soon a presidential decree to regulate the feed in tariff based on the generation. This would give a bright light to the deployment of alternative and clean energy investment in Indonesia, with the aim to put specific effort and tariff to value the investment and incentive based on the technology, and the area. It is understood that investing in Papua is riskier than Java in term of infrastructure and cost. It is interesting to see how the biogas generation technology and deployment could speed up in the next 5 years.

1 https://www.bppt.go.id/teknologi-informasi-energi-dan-material/3496-plt-biogas-pome-olah-limbah-cair-sawit-menjadi-listrik

2 https://www.iced.or.id/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Modul-04-Pembiayaan-Pembangkit-Listrik-Tenaga-Biogas.pdf

Thoughts?

[Borneo Road Trip Series] Entikong – Penyebrangan Kalbar ke Sarawak

*Tulisan ini ditulis berdasarkan perjalanan saya pada Oktober 2019 dari Kalimantan Selatan - Kalimantan Tengah - Kalimantan Barat - Sarawak Malaysia - Return. Pada tulisan ini saya akan fokus ke bagian penyebrangan (border) Entikong
  • Cerita perjalanan menyebrangi border antar negara Entikong menuju Kuching menggunakan mobil plat Indonesia
  • Informasi di dalam tulisan ini dapat menjawab pertanyaan di bawah ini:
    1. Apa SIM Internasional dibutuhkan?
    2. Berapa biaya yang diperlukan?
    3. Seberapa sulit medan yang dilalui?
    4. Berapa lama waktu proses penyebrangan?
    5. Apa peraturan mengemudi di Malaysia?
  • Entikong check-point merupakan poin cek imigrasi paling popular untuk menyeberang ke Sarawak.
  • Biaya yang dikeluarkan untuk perizinan dan sebagainya dibawah 200 ribu rupiah.
  • Jam buka Entikong adalah jam kerja – sehingga jam 5 sore tutup dan pengajuan izin tidak bisa dilakukan lagi.
  • Dokumen yang diperlukan:
    1. STNK – original dan copy yang masih aktif. STNK asli mobil – jika bukan pemilik asli dari mobil wajib dilampirkan surat keterangan atau surat kuasa penggunaan mobil. Dalam kasus saya karena saya membawa mobil rental, maka saya membawa surat kuasa dari pemilik mobil rental. Bukti bayar pajak kendaraan.
    2. TNKB – plat nomor
    3. SIM dan KTP – copy dan original. SIM A mobil, jika ada SIM internasional juga bisa dibawa.
    4. Surat Kuasa jika pengemudi bukan pemilik kendaraan
    5. Paspor
    6. Mengisi formulirDokumen yang wajib dibawa:
Perlengkapan Perjalanan

Perjalanan di Kalimantan Barat

Medan di Kalimantan Barat seperti medan di Kalimantan pada umumnya, banyak kelokan dan jalan sudah diaspal. Hanya sebagian kecil jalan yang rusak. Untuk pom bensin masih mudah untuk ditemukan sehingga saat itu kita tidak membawa cadangan bensin di dalam tangki.

Alur izin:

  1. Bea Cukai
    • Paspor
    • SIM
    • STNK
    • KTP
    • Surat Kuasa jika nama STNK berbeda dengan pengemudi
    • Mengisi formulir (banyak yang harus diisi, estimasi isi 10 menit)
  2. Asuransi
    • Biaya premi asuransi sesuai jenis kendaraan.
    • Copy STNK
  3. Ditjen Perhubungan – pemeriksaan keabsahan dokumen dan tanda lulus uji kendaraan, nantinya akan didapatkan stiker yang perlu ditempel di mobil saat dikendarai di jalan.
  4. Kepolisian – pengecekan dokumen pendukung untuk kendaraan dan izin mengemudi. Dokumen sama seperti poin 1. Jika dibutuhkan akan ada cek fisik kendaraan. Dalam kasus saya tidak dilakukan cek sama sekali.
  5. Bea cukai – jika kalian tidak membawa barang-barang yang perlu dilaporkan, kalian tidak perlu lama disini.
  6. Cap paspor di gate sebagai tanda masuk Malaysia di bagian imigrasi.
  7. Biaya kurang lebih sekitar 200 ribu total. Tanpa ada pungutan liar.

Hampir tidak dapat izin masuk Malaysia

Dari seluruh proses yang saya lalui, secara keseluruhan lancar kecuali saat di….. Kepolisian. Surat izin operasional kendaraan dipertanyakan karena saya mengedarai mobil plat KT (Kalimantan Timur) yang memasuki daerah Kalimantan Barat untuk menuju Malaysia. Beberapa daerah di Indonesia mewajibkan kendaraan luar provinsi ber plat asing memiliki izin operasional. Setelah peringatan bapak Polisi, mereka mengizinkan saya karena tujuan saya adalah pariwisata bukan urusan bisnis.

Hampir ditolak masuk kembali ke Indonesia
  1. Kami datang di border sekitar pukul 4 sore waktu setempat, yang ternyata mepet sekali dengan waktu tutup border. WAKTU OPERASIONAL BORDER sama seperti jam kerja yaitu 8-5 sehingga diatas jam 5 sore kalian tidak akan dilayani atau tunggu sampai besok pagi pas buka.
  2. Saya miss untuk meminta TTD dan cap di bagian Malaysia, lihat gambar di bawah. Jadi saya masuk ke Malaysia tanpa mengecap bagian tersebut. Waktu mau masuk ke Indonesia, ditanya mana bukti masuk Malaysia nya dan saya tidak bisa dapat menunjukkan cap Malaysia.
Kondisi yang berbeda jauh di jalanan Sarawak

Memasuki jalanan Malaysia setelah gerbang perbatasan, wow! Kondisi jalanan sungguh berbeda, saya dapat tancap gas di Sarawak karena jalanan sudah sangat mulus tanpa ada bolong sama sekali dan tidak ada anak-anak yang bermain di jalan, serta pemotor yang melawan arah. Miris terhadap kondisi ini, sangat timpang keadaan jalan kita dibandingkan Malaysia.

Apakah SIM internasional dibutuhkan?

(baca: 10 menit membuat SIM Internasional)

Yang perlu diperhatikan untuk melewati cek kondisi mobil:

  • Kaca film mobil minimum 25% yang artinya kaca gelap akan sulit diizinkan masuk ke Malaysia.
  • Tidak membawa barang-barang elektronik yang berpotensi dicek saat melewati cukai atau custom.

Bagaimana menyetir di Malaysia?

  • Setir kanan – sehingga aturan jalur sama seperti di Indonesia yaitu jalur sebelah kiri dan jalur kanan untuk kendaraan lebih cepat dan mendahului.
  • Aturan bundaran yang wajib dipatuhi – saat bundaran, stop dan dahulukan kendaraan lain yang ada di dalam bundaran baru kemudian kita bisa masuk setelah jalur aman.
  • Marka jalan dan lampu lalu lintas sama dengan di Indonesia.
  • Batas kecepatan harus dipatuhi. Kamera pantau.
  • Antrian kendaraan di Malaysia secara umum lebih rapi dibandingkan di Indonesia, dimana banyak kendaraan tidak mematuhi garis dan marka jalan yang berujung saling serobot.

[Review] Four Points by Sheraton Balikpapan – best Hotel for Business Traveller

As a business traveler, I always opt for three things while choosing a hotel: location, the work desk ambiance, and the gym facility. First thing you do not want to have is spending too much time on the journey to reach or to go out from your hotel to your business meeting. Secondly, most of the time in the hotel room you need to work with your laptop on the office matters. And last but the most important is the availability of sport facility to keep your fitness level as a frequent business traveler. Talking about Balikpapan – the most advanced city in Kalimantan to which I mostly traveled on business matter, I only have limited preference of hotel before. The closest hotel from the Sepinggan Airport – Balikpapan used to be the Grand Tjokro, around 10 mins drive from the airport. It has decent breakfast and quite okay gym room – very limited equipment with a sandbag. However, the room ambiance was too dark to work on. In late 2019, I have another alternative as the Four Points Sepinggan opened to public.

the room – perfect blend of excellent lighting and neat room decoration
The Trademark – Sheraton comfy Bed

The room size is quite generous – not too big though. I like the lighting and the room decoration that just not seem too much to show the wood element they chose as the dominant element. On the corner you might see a decoration of Dayaknese in a white- painted appearance. The lighting reminds you of a cozy and warm study room, turning into a lazy reading room when you move into the sofa where the lighting seems more relaxing.

the breakfast – my favorite breakfast service of all time!

Indomie, oriental dish, local dishes, granola-cereals-oats, fruits, all name it except the Kenari crab meat are all ready fresh when you need to start the day. I love the breakfast in Four Points Balikpapan very much.

24-hours gym? wow

24 hours access gym, complete with all important machines and equipment, including the yoga set as well. There is a spacious space for class in the middle. Anyway, who does not love an all time access gym? The swimming pool is not 24 hours by the way.

 

friendly and responsive crews! including free shuttle service to or from the airport

the crews in plaid uniform are always ready to serve you. The free shuttle service from the airport is the best solution to reach the hotel, which you can book before checking in. A guy from the hotel will hold a board with your name upon the arrival gate. Very helpful!

the downside – quite far from the city if you want to visit the shopping centre

It takes some time to go to the nearest mall or shopping centre. Not to mention it is far from the nearest restaurant as well.  So if you want to spend some time shopping, at least spare 1 hour for the travel time to reach and going back from the mall.

another downside – lengthy queue on certain cases

For coincidental same arrival time for all hotel guests, sometimes the check-in time would require up to 20 mins. There are two receptionists but on some peak and busy hours, up to 8 people might arrive in the same time using the free pick up service from the airport.

the sustainability – they sometimes still change your towel

They still change the towel I was meaning to re-use it on the next day. I keep it on the hanger, a code for “I will use it again” but anyway on the next day I always find it being changed. Not that sustainable – hope the practice can be realized not just as a note on the bathroom.

In summary, I love to stay here on my business trip. They have everything to offer a frequent flyer people that need a good place to work, quiet place to rest, and facility to do some sports. Good job team!