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Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] www.elsevier.com/locate/biombioe

Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies
´ ˜ F.R.P. Arrieta, F.N. Teixeiraa, E. Yanezb, E. Loraa,Ã, E. Castilloc
a

´/Excellence Group in Thermal and Distributed Generation. Av. BPS 1303, Cp 50 Itajuba ´-MG, Brazil Federal University of Itajuba b CENIPALMA, Colombia c UIS, Colombia Received 5 July 2006; received in revised form 24 November 2006; accepted 17 January 2007

Abstract The palm oil mills are characterized by the availability of considerable amounts of by-products of high-energy value such as empty fruit bunches (EFB), fibers, shells and liquid effluents with high content of organics called palm oil mill effluent (POME). A palm oil mill produces residues equivalent to almost three times the amount of oil produced by biomass, showing a huge potential for increasing the power efficiency of the plants and installed power, mainly by the use of by-products in cogeneration plants with high steam parameters and by reducing steam consumption in process. The objective of this paper is to present the results of the study about the cogeneration potential for three representative palm oil mills located in two important palm oil producing regions in Colombia (South-America), fifth palm oil producers of the world. The sizing of the cogeneration system was made assuming it operation during the greatest possible number of hours throughout the year (based on the seasonal availability of fruit) considering parameters for the steam at 2 MPa and 350 1C, using a condensing-extraction turbine. The balance of mass and energy was made by using the Gate Cycle Enter Software, version 5.51, to estimate the potential of electricity generation. The results showed that for fresh fruit bunch (FFB) processing capacities between 18 and 60 t FFB hÀ1, it is possible to have surplus power ranging between 1 and 7 MW, if the plants are self-sufficient in electric energy and steam for process. With an average Capacity Factor (approximately 0.4), it is possible to expect a generation index of 75 and 160 kWh tÀ1 FFB when the processing plant is operating or shutdown, respectively, 3 or 4 times better than when a traditional system with a back-pressure steam turbines is used. This analysis used up to 60% of EFB produced in plant as fuel, considering its value as fertilizer for the palm crop. Several economic conditions were considered to estimate the economic and technical feasibility of cogeneration systems in palm oil mill for Colombian palm oil sector. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Combined heat and power; Elaeis guinnensis; Biomass

1. Introduction Palm oil, soybean, colza and sunflower are the most commonly used vegetable oils throughout the world. The worldwide palm oil production is 30.45 Mt. The greatest producers are Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand and Colombia. With an actual productive area of 1610 km2, Colombia produces 3.24 Mt of fresh fruit bunches (FFB), 672.597 kt of raw palm oil, 158.172 kt of kernel and 63.726 kt of palm kernel oil [1]. It has 51 palm oil mills
ÃCorresponding author. Tel.: +55 35 3629 1355.

around the country, and the average productivity is 4 t haÀ1 yÀ1. The palm oil mills are characterized by:  



´ ˜ E-mail addresses: edgar.yanez@cenipalma.org (E. Yanez), electo@unifei.edu.br (E. Lora). 0961-9534/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2007.01.016

A consumption of electricity evaluated to range between 17 and 38 kWh tÀ1 FFB for Malaysia [2] 20 and 25 kWh tÀ1 FFB for Thailand [3] and a steam consumption of 550–750 kg ton-FFBÀ1 [2]. Average heat to power relation of 17.9 [2]. The availability of considerable amounts of by-products of high energy value such as empty fruit bunches (EFB), fibers, shells and liquid effluents with high content of organics called palm oil mill effluent (POME). A palm oil mill produces residues equivalent to almost three times the amount of oil produced by biomass.

Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP, et al. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007), doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2007.01.016

P. the possibility of implementing the production of biodiesel and the commercialization of carbon credits. Arrieta et al. FFB depending on the system operating pressure [7]. These reasons have led the palm oil industry a renewed interest in cogeneration. incentive programs and attractive prices of electricity commercialization for the country’s independent producers. Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. and within the periods of low FFB availability just a few hours a day. Possibility of generating biogas from the anaerobic treatment of the liquid effluents of the process and its conversion into electricity by using internal combustion engines or micro-turbines. However. Although a plant of 44 MW with steam parameters of 6. Possibility of generating electricity in isolated regions. as well as the strong competition in the international palm oil market. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007). Location of Columbian palm oil mills. Power installed in modern palm oil mills ranges between 5 and 15 MW with 4. it is possible to generalize some indicators for the cogeneration systems in the palm oil industry:       A crop comprising 100 km2 can correspond to an installed power of 5–11 MW in the palm oil mill. with an average BOD 25 g lÀ1. mainly by increasing steam parameters and the installed power in cogeneration plants and reducing steam consumption in process. Fig. depending on the type and parameters of the cogeneration system and residue availability. and an specific production of methane ranging from 0. which could be used for electricity generation with a consumption of 0.7 years [5].2 MPa and 360 1C of steam parameters. had forced the search for reduction in the production costs.6 m3 tÀ1 of oil.5 MJ mÀ3. representing 33% of the variable costs in the process [1].R. Based on the analyzed literature.016 .2 MW of power with a back-pressure turbine and a boiler of 35 t hÀ1 with 2. which at the moment have an average value of 73% LCV based [2].01.2 MPa and 482 1C is being proposed [6]. According to Yeoh [4] the average specific yield of effluents in the palm oil industry of Malaysia is 2. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]]    A huge potential for increasing the power efficiency of the plants. The specific investment of the cogeneration plant of 1. A preliminary study has established the possibility of a 25% reduction in variable production costs by the implementation of cogeneration systems in the mills.ARTICLE IN PRESS 2 F. The objective of this paper is to present the cogeneration potential for three representative palm oil mills located in two important Palm In the Colombian palm sector.92 m3 kgÀ1 BOD (depending on the temperature).3 MPa of steam pressure is about 580 US$ kWÀ1 with an investment recovery time of 3. Uncertainty in relation to use of EFB as fertilizer and apparently problems during its combustion in boilers because of its moisture and alkali content. 1. Electricity generation potential is 90–132 kWh tÀ1. This methane has a calorific value of 34.1016/j. the increase in the price of electricity and fuel costs over the past years.47 to 0. Low capacity factor in the mills for some months of the year. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. Main proposals regarding cogeneration plant improvement are the substitution of back-pressure steam turbines for condensation—extraction ones (which increase the installed electric power by approximately 60%) and also the boilers efficiency. Lack of legal base.biombioe.2007. The greatest cost when FFB is processed comes from the energy.   Lack of tradition in the sector regarding self-generation and energy commercialization. cogeneration is not very widespread as a result of:   A traditional productive process characterized by high and irregular steam consumption (semi-continuous process due to batch FFB sterilization). doi:10.50 m3 kWhÀ1 based in generating units using natural gas [4]. et al. The participation of FFB processing in oil production costs is approximately 16% that is 25% greater than the same index for Malaysia.

which includes the storage of biomass for the Fiber (% FFB) Shell (% FFB) Liquid effluent (POME) (% FFB) 67 87 70–80 [8] Malaysia [9] Thailand [10] and [11]. expressed in percentage of each ton of FFB. and EFB with 50% of moisture ¼ 8. Different power levels were evaluated and also different types of technologies according to the cases. nut recovery. Summary of the processes with productive diagrams and mass and energy balance. The sizing of the system was made assuming its operation during the greatest possible number of hours throughout the year (based on the seasonal availability of fruit). condensed recoverable flow (which could return to the boiler). which means it will follow the curve of heat demand. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. Determination of the obtained net savings. In the case of an isolated plant with its own generation using diesel engines. 731230 1900 W (Plant C). Amount of effluents of the process. 1.R. oil clarification. temperature and flow in each process input. kg tÀ1 FFB. Analysis of alternatives. 2.5 6. doi:10.2007.1016/j.  Pressure. Characterization of by-products (biomass) in the palm oil mills Table 1 shows the data on the availability of byproducts.8–7. the production in m3 hÀ1 and the composition of the gas was measured. Simulation of each alternative. and two in the Central region located at 71530 800 N.9 MJ mÀ3 [8].5 12–13 11. 2):        Analysis of the heat and electric demands. The characteristics and main parameters of the three studied mills are presented in Table 2. Analysis of the economic and financial feasibility. The data collected for cogeneration modeling were: 1.200 W (Plant A). Analysis of the energy cost in the present situation. according to different authors. Colombia 2001 a 13.4 5–7 Average value with a high level of technology 28–32 t haÀ1 for a crop period ranging from 5 to 6 years. the Research Center of the Oil Palm sector—CENIPALMA of Colombia and the Center for Environmental Studies and Research—CEIAM of the Industrial University of Santander-UIS (Colombia). and storage:  Steam pressure. If a biogas plant was already installed. Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. it is necessary to evaluate the fuel consumption. Two stages were evaluated: the first considered the current capacity of the mills.  For each fuel: availability and seasonal variation along the year. shells ¼ 20.ARTICLE IN PRESS F. located at 5190 3400 N.8 MJ kgÀ1. Arrieta et al.16 MJ kgÀ1.0 18–22a Empty fruit bunch (% FFB) 22 20–30 17. 731270 5900 W (Plant B) and 71420 2100 N. In many cases. temperature. 1): one in the Eastern region. elementary and immediate analysis. 2. it is also economically attractive and offers important reductions in the annual purchase of energy and therefore in the production costs. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] 3 oil producing regions in Colombia (Fig. The amount of biogas generated by each ton of FFB is assumed as 19. Sensitivity analysis. et al. low calorific value.  Purchase and sale price of electricity $ kWhÀ1. Methodology The main objective of the thermal measurements is the collection of the necessary data for the technical and economic feasibility studies. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007).6 m3 and its calorific value 22. including the plant’s facilities (for the production of energy for the process) and the production of biogas (in case it exists).biombioe. oil extraction.P. The cogeneration is thermodynamically very interesting and technically feasible. non-recoverable flow and boiler replacement water flow. The data collecting and their processing were made by a team of specialists of the Excellence Group in Thermal and Distributed Generation—NEST of the Federal University ´ of Itajuba—UNIFEI (Brazil).6–15 5. The calorific value of the biomass is: fiber ¼ 18.1. For the processes: fruit sterilization. Table 1 Availability of biomass residues and effluents in palm oil mills References Fresh fruit bunch (t-FFB haÀ1 yearÀ1) 20.016 . Price of water in $ mÀ3. In general the cogeneration systems proposed for the three plants have the following characteristics in common:   The system is designed to operate in thermal parity.08 10. and the second anticipated a future expansion.7–26.1      Total consumption of water in t hÀ1.01. For the cogeneration power station:  Consumption of electricity in kWh tÀ1 of processed FFB.6 MJ kgÀ1. The feasibility study included the following sections (Fig. 72140 0. Estimation of the investments required in each alternative.

50 14–4 13. then. which corresponds to the indicator of Table 2 ‘‘equivalent processing’’.73–0.66 12–7 13. Arrieta et al.00 100 100 50 100 No Yes C Electricity from the grid and a low efficiency cogeneration 60 60 29.1016/j. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. annual processed fruit.biombioe. et al.50 24. Steam cycle was chosen as the cogeneration technology.01.00 20.26 100 100 50 100 No No Capacity factor expressed as: current processing capacity/equivalent processing. Table 2 Characteristics and parameters of the three evaluated plants Palm oil mills A Brief description of the energy supply facilities Current processing capacity (t-FFB hÀ1) Future processing capacity (t-FFB hÀ1) Equivalent processing. Fig. It is possible. 2.ARTICLE IN PRESS 4 F. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] Fig.23 23.40 100 100 70 100 Yes Yes Isolated system using diesel and biogas in engines 18 30 11. Stages of economic and technical analysis in a cogeneration project [12].28 3. doi:10. t-FFB hÀ1–Nominal capacity indexa Fruit availabilityb (%Max–%Min) Biomass mass balance (%FFB) Fiber Shells EFB Available biomass percentage use (%) Fiber Shell EFB Biogas Cogeneration plant is already operating Connection with the electric grid a b B Purchase all electricity from the grid 20 25 13. The steam parameters were 2 MPa and 350 1C. This was due to the use of solid fuels (biomass residues). expressed in t FFB hÀ1.90–0.016 . Percentage expressed as: monthly processed fruit vs.79–0. to assume an average capacity of processing.  the use of the heat energy as steam and finally due to a wide dissemination of the steam generating technology in processing plants.50 3.2007. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007).  months with low production of fruit. 3 shows a scheme of the boiler studied using the Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. The design efficiency of the proposed boilers was of 85%.75 5.P.69 15–5 13.R.

Economical analysis outlined for a 10% reduction in the investment costs and an increase in the sale price of the electric energy ranging about 50% offer a IRR of 20%. doi:10. the regular distribution of the fruit production during the year and the high costs of generation using the diesel engine. but also the costs regarding control systems. a reducing valve of pressure and a heat exchanger. is considered. During the economic analysis the cost regarding the substitution of the EFB by fertilizers was considered. First. In relation to Case B. increase in the capacity factor of the plant. In case C: In variant I (actual capacity).2007. Results 3. This consideration was based on the limits established by the crop due to the use of EFB as fertilization complement and for soil improvement. It is also important to mention that these figures can be improved to 42% when its capacity increases by up to 30 t-FFB hÀ1.01. in spite of having a capacity slightly superior than plant A. considerable modifications in the process are required such as the reduction in the specific consumption of steam and its variability according to the time. The net present value was estimated considering cash flows over financing charges and then the IRR calculated. et al. with 30%.R. However. For economic analysis. version 5. it must be emphasized that in all the cases the investment costs included not only the equipment cost for steam generation and electricity. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. civil works. in comparison with its use on the field. connection to the grid and so on. Scheme of the proposed boiler. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] 5     software SBC—Steam Boiler Calculations described in [13]. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007). according to Table 2. all of these under international price standards therefore the economic analysis is in real terms. Ravi [14] showed that the use of EFB as fuel for the generation of electric energy offers a superior economic return. almost 3. Power and economic evaluation for each studied case Table 3 shows the results of the cogeneration potential for all cases and also the variants.ARTICLE IN PRESS F. much higher than the The thermal cycle used to calculate the balance of mass and energy in Fig.1. Case A. 5 show the sensitivity analysis of the project in relation to the investment costs and the electricity sale price variation. Arrieta et al. so as to attain a global efficiency in the generation of electric energy. Case C could only display results similar to those presented by Case A if a new and complete cogeneration system were implemented.1016/j. The existence of a steam generation auxiliary system. and operation and maintenance costs for a biogas plant is 682 USD$ monthÀ1 using real costs of plant A. assembly and electrical supervision of the plant and the substations.P. In variant II (future capacity) only the substitution of the present steam turbines.5 times. the complete substitution of the present power plant by a new one is considered. 2.51 [15]. which is 0.     information. as a result of their degradation. plant lifetime was assumed to be 20 years. 3. The IRR is defined as the discount rate that results in a net present value of zero. It is assumed that only 50% of the EFB is being consumed at plants A and B and 70% at plant C. showed the best economic indicators for the internal return rate (IRR). The use of an air cooled condenser was chosen considering low water availability. It was decided to use a condensing–extraction turbine and a system for process steam generation including: a pump. was made by using the GateCycleTM Enter Software. and is usually interpreted as the expected return generated by the investment. These results are obtained mainly according to the plant’s capacity factor. indicators are not very favorable.06 USD$kWhÀ1. 4. In order to use high steam parameters. Data assumed during economic calculations  Operation and maintenance data for cogeneration systems are related to total cost using supplier’s Fig.1. and they are negatively affected by the irregular distribution of the fruit production and mainly by its low capacity factor. with and without cogeneration. in spite of being the palm oil mill presenting the smallest processing capacity among the cases that were studied. Fig. All estimated costs for the economical analysis are expressed in 2005 dollars. whereas a presumed built-up schedule not was considered.016 . Debt interest rate was assumed 15% aÀ1. 3.biombioe. etc.

73 74.92 71.2007.90 15. It was not possible to establish a coherent relation between the Generation Index (kWh t-FFBÀ1) and the processing capacity of the analyzed palm oil mills due to the differences between the availability of fruit and its distribution throughout the year.07 21. Fig. 3.25 6449 74 30 Yes 2936 2858 78 10811 14.89 5385 61 Not 7818 7698 120 0 23.90 5385 61 II-60 Yes 959 913 46 21625 3.57 0.0 24.87 5394 62 Plant C I-60 Yes 1974 1853 120 21621 5.2.05 6450 74 Not 5114 5035 78 0 24.14 72.55 62. which indicates the usage percentage (or fraction of time) of the installed processing capacity (see Fig. Plant C is favored by the high amount of processed fruit and by the electric energy sale prices. 6 for plant C is explained by the fact that it has a high Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP.ARTICLE IN PRESS 6 F. 6 shows the relation between the Capacity Factor and the Generation Index.32 34.06 6449 74 Not 3012 2966 46 0 24.02 25.87 5394 62 Not 3986 3920 66 0 22. Thermal scheme of the cogeneration power station of plant A. are a product of the analysis of the results obtained for the different case studies.67 58.01. Fig.R.70 6450 74 Plant B 25 Yes 1834 1768 66 9008 10.1016/j. 6). Arrieta et al.76 3895 44 Not 2445 2421 24 0 20. The Generation Index of 31 kWh t FFBÀ1 shown in Fig. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies.54 67.87 15.00 23.00 22. et al. Table 3 Results of the energy evaluation of cogeneration for all cases Item FFB processing Cogeneration plant operation Gross electric power Net electric power Auxiliary equipment Cogeneration heat Electricity generation Efficiency (LCV Base) Electricity Generation Heat Rate (LCV Base) Heat Generation Efficiency (LCV Base) Efficiency of Heat and electricity Cogeneration (LCV Base) Processing Time per year-Cogeneration plant Utilization Factor-Cogeneration plant Unit t-FFB Plant A 18 Yes 1530 1484 46 7207 12.07 3895 44 KW KW KW KW % MJ kWhÀ1 % % h yearÀ1 % present one.P. doi:10.0 24.76 62.03 56.00 20. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] Fig. For this reason the Capacity Factor (CF) for each of the plants was determined.90 52. 7 presents a summary of the average indicators of income and products that are expected for the palm oil mills with cogeneration and surplus electric energy sale.03 67.14 71. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007).18 0. 4.016 .13 29.06 0.biombioe.68 53.74 0.25 1485 0. Energy indicators The indicators that will be shown in Table 4.70 14.

therefore. Taking all the variants analyzed into account it was observed that today’s conditions do not present economic feasibility. it was possible to observe that with a specific investment cost ranging about 690–850 US$ kWÀ1 (average value considered for the three analyzed cases) it is feasible to develop the cogeneration project if the electricity commercialization prices range about 0. However.00 per USD) and 15% interest rates into account at the time this study was accomplished. 5. Table 4 Indicators of the plants with cogeneration facilities Palm oil mill Capacity (tFFB hÀ1) Capacity factor Generation index (kWh t-FFBÀ1) Specific installed capacity kW installed (t-FFB hÀ1)À1 Nominala Realb Specific cost (US$ kWÀ1) Palm oil mill FFB processing A B C a b Palm oil mill FFB no-processing 165 157 128 18 25 60 0.ARTICLE IN PRESS F. 3. Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. doi:10.200. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007). Relation between the Generation Index and the Capacity Factor. that this generation index value is not the typical one for plant C. taking the existing exchange ($2. respectively. With an average Capacity Factor (approximately 0. which will have a higher value when the annual distribution of fruit meets the demand of the nominal capacity of the plant.0 MPa steam parameters is installed.biombioe. Opportunities and limitations of the cogeneration in the Columbian palm oil sector The opportunities of the cogeneration in the palm oil sector in Colombia are given by:         Residual fuel availability of the oil extraction process. Fig. Possibility of commercializing carbon credits. et al. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies.40 0. It is possible to conclude.4). Based on the real processing capacity. Sensitivity of the investment cost and the electricity sale price regarding the IRR for case A (processing capacity of 18 t-FFB hÀ1). Business diversification.49 0. Possibility of reducing the variable costs of oil production by 25%.11–0.1016/j.2007. Possibility of increasing the power efficiency of the process. allowing the electrification of these areas. Constant increase in the cost of electricity and diesel fuel.P. which will considerably increase the generation of electricity. Fig. Location of some mills in isolated regions. The valuations that were carried out regarding the three studied plants show that the generation index can reach values up to 70–80 kWh t FFBÀ1 when a cogeneration plant with condensing-extraction steam turbines and 2. This performance fares 3 or 4 times better than when a traditional system with a back-pressure steam turbines is used.3. It is important to mention that the advantage of the palm oil mills that have greater fruit processing capacity is the possibility of installing cogeneration systems with higher steam parameters. Possibility of using governmental incentives to co-finance the investment in the cogeneration plant.37 82 71 31 165 157 128 333 396 350 1018 688 849 Based on the nominal processing capacity.R.16 US$ kWhÀ1. Arrieta et al.01. 6. According to previous studies carried out by CENIPALMA the average generation index in the Colombian palm oil mills ranges about 20 kWh t FFBÀ1.016 . it is possible to expect a generation index of 75 and 160 kWh t FFBÀ1 when the processing plant is operating or shutdown. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] 7 demand of heat and the cogeneration plant was designed based on a fuel availability that does not correspond to the installed processing capacity of 60 t FFB hÀ1.

electricity tariffs. representing an increase in the availability of energy that is 50% higher than in today’s systems. according the exchange and interest rates at this study was accomplished (May of 2005).016 . and reduction of import customs duties for generation equipment.   The system proposed uses condensing-extraction steam turbines. variability in the amount of available biomass. According to the aforementioned conditions it is possible to achieve recovery time values ranging about four years. Relatively high investment in the cogeneration project. This for 2 MPa and 350 1C of steam parameters. et al. Please cite this article as: Arrieta FRP. It also results in the achievement of a considerable amount of surplus electricity.   4. High cost of grid interconnection. within a period of approximately three years it could be possible to reach the levels of tariffs and prices mentioned previously. but also allow to generate surplus electricity.R. Conclusions  The main conclusions that were drawn from the economic–technical study of the opportunities of cogeneration in the oil palm sector in Colombia. considering its value as fertilizer for the palm crop. 7. based on the three analyzed case studies are     In all the analyzed cases.biombioe.11 and USD$ 0.ARTICLE IN PRESS 8 F.P. so it has a greater operational flexibility at the same time it guarantees the thermal and electric demands of the process. Agricultural use of empty fruit bunch (technically it can be replaced by fertilizers). The implementation of incentive programs regarding cogeneration projects in the palm sector is mandatory. Low water availability for the condenser cooling. However. For fruit processing capacities between 18 and 60 t FFB hÀ1. The variables of greater impact on the feasibility of cogeneration projects are: investment costs. doi:10. it was observed that with specific investment costs of about 690–850 US$ kWÀ1 (according to the capacity) it is possible to develop the cogeneration project if the electricity tariff and the price of commercialization of the surplus electricity range between USD$ 0. This analysis used up to 60% of EFB produced in plant as fuel. so that this study could be carried out. Cogeneration potential in the Columbian palm oil industry: Three case studies. differentiated tariffs regarding the commercialization of the surplus electricity. it is possible to have surplus power ranging between 1 and 7 MW.01. Lack of regulatory legislation for energy commercialization. For all the analyzed cases within the present conditions.2007. which leads to the need for economic incentives such as special electricity purchase prices by the electric companies or tax reduction (considering the cost avoided with the increase in the generation capacity). Acknowledgments The authors are very grateful to CENIPALMA and the palm oil mills for providing all the information. Biomass and Bioenergy (2007). However. being the plants selfsufficient in electric energy and steam for process. Power indicators of income and product in the palm oil mill with cogeneration and sale of electric energy surplus. In Colombia it is possible to observe the tendency towards the constant increase in electricity tariffs. / Biomass and Bioenergy ] (]]]]) ]]]–]]] Fig. and that would allow the attainment of economical feasibility in cogeneration in the palm sector. Arrieta et al. They should include: long term contracts that guarantee the purchase of. The obstacles against cogeneration in the palm oil sector in Colombia are given by:        Current electricity low sale price.1016/j. These amounts of cogenerated electric energy are available between 60% and 70% of the annual time. the biomass available in the plants not only guarantees the power demands of the process. the economic feasibility was not reached. exchange rate and interest rate.16 kW hÀ1.

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