JAKARTA - The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) continues to encourage the use of technological innovations to increase the competitiveness of the national industry. One of the efforts is to develop a machine to utilize the waste of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (TKKS) which is used as an alternative raw material for the paper industry. This strategic step is expected to overcome the problem of imported recycled paper raw materials.

In 2021, the pulp and paper industry will have a trade balance surplus, but there are still raw materials that come from imports. On the other hand, Indonesia has a very abundant source of fiber, namely TKKS which in 2022 is projected to reach 51 million tons. "That's why we made technological innovations to use TKKS as raw material for pulp and paper products," said the Head of the Standardization and Industrial Services Policy Agency (BSKJI) of the Ministry of Industry, Doddy Rahadi in Bandung, Thursday (14/7).

Doddy explained, BBSPJI Cellulose has utilized TKKS into mechanical pulp with the advantage of lower production costs, and can reduce the impact on the environment with minimum use of chemicals. With this technology, the yield of pulp produced is about 70%, higher than the yield of chemical pulp.

The mechanical characteristics of this TKKS meet the requirements as a raw material for making packaging paper. It is hoped that the use of TKKS raw materials can reduce imports of recycled paper raw materials. "Collaboration is very necessary to realize and grow a strong pulp and paper industry, especially in the resilience of raw materials and increasing import substitution," said the Head of BSKJI.

“From a technoeconomic perspective, empty palm oil bunches that have been processed into mechanical pulp through kneading technology using a masher and gimmick machine can increase the added value of empty palm oil bunches into pulp with an estimated selling price of around USD250/ton. The selling value of the pulp will reach a payback period of about 8.2 years with a capacity of 50 tons of dry pulp/day. The payback period will be shorter if the empty palm fruit bunches are not charged because they are considered waste,” concluded the Head of BBSPJI Cellulosa. (LM)