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Palm Oil Mill in Oyo State - page 5 / 10





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2.2 Mill The capacity of the proposed mill is based on a number of factors:

  • availability of capital;

  • availability of land;

  • availability of equipment;

  • production costs per liter;

  • anticipated impact on local economy, both positive and negative;

  • environmental impact; and

  • experience and expertise.

All of these factors have significant uncertainty at this time. Although pro- duction costs per liter tend to decrease as the size of the mill is increased, other factors motivate us to consider the medium sized plant that is be- ing proposed. Theses factors include the availability of capital, the desire to minimize any possible negative impact on the environment and the local economy, and the limited experience and expertise of the present group. Due to these factors, it seems prudent to start more conservatively with the size mill that is being proposed, and to consider further expansion after demon- strating initial success.

The proposed mill capacity is targeted in the vicinity of 10,000 kg/hr of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) of palm fruit. Given the seasonal nature of the palm fruit harvest in Nigeria, it is expected that the plant will only operate near capacity for perhaps four months of the year, and at less than half capacity for the remainder. An annual average of half the maximum capacity, or 5000 kg FFB/hr processing throughput is estimated.

Although there are a variety of processing methods available, the appro- priate processing technology is one that produces the highest quality oil with the highest extraction rate and lowest cost given the available capital. Very large mills use solvent extraction methods to obtain over 99% of the available oil from the palm fruit. For the smaller scale plant proposed here, mechanical methods are used that can extract perhaps 90% of the available oil. At an average annual throughput rate of 5000 kg (FFB)/hr, this would be expected to produce about 2 million liters/oil per year.


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