Frequently Asked Questions​

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What are the main factors that will determine the scale of my project?

The main factors are likely to be: 1.The CPO mill capacity 2.Whether you will also process PKO from palm kernels 3.The scope of infrastructure and other equipment required 4.The availability of capital

What CPO processing capacity do I need?

BTMA CPO Mills can be supplied in, or upgraded to, the following capacities - 1.0, 2.0, 3.0,4.0and 5.0 tonnes per hour FFB throughput. Our mills are designed to have a capacity tolerance of plus 20%, so actual throughput may be greater than nameplate or nominal capacity. CPO Mill Capacity is usually sized to accommodate the peak season FFB supply working up to 3 shifts. FFB should be harvested when optimally ripe, and can only be stored for a few days. Under-ripe fruit will adversely affect oil yields; and over-ripe fruit will have an unacceptably high FFA content. This restricts flexibility for scheduling CPO Mill production. The maximum monthly throughput hours for a CPO Mill operating at full capacity on 3 shifts will be around 650 hours after allowing for 12.5% of operations time for routine cleaning and maintenance. So, by way of examples:
• if the peak month FFB supply is 15% of the total annual supply, the maximum annual throughput will be around 4,300 tonnes (or 650/0.15) per tonne per hour FFB throughput capacity, without wastage in the peak month(s); and • if the peak month FFB supply is 10% of the total annual supply, the maximum annual throughput will be around 6,500 tonnes (or 650/0.10) per tonne per hour FFB throughput capacity, without wastage in the peak month(s).
You may get a better return on capital employed by under-sizing the mill. The trade-off is between high utilisation and peak-month(s) FFB wastage.

What quantity of FFB will I process annually?

FFB supply should be reasonably easy to predict if you have your own plantations. If you plan to collect FFB from small-holders, you will need to consider the relationship between availability and price. External funders will require evidence that the FFB will be available at the price in your financial projections.

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What is the market for my CPO / PKO and what price will I get for it?

You will need to establish the market channel for selling your CPO / PKO, and establish the market price. The world market price may not be a good indicator of the local market price, which will be subject to local supply and demand factors. Bulk export markets are unlikely to be the best or most realistic market channel for your product, given your scale of production.


What will be my solid fuel costs?

A CPO Mill should provide enough press fibre to satisfy the fuel requirements of the furnaces. We do not recommend using Empty Fruit Bunches as fuel, because of the moisture content unless thoroughly dried. It may be desirable to use some wood for start-up firing of furnaces. Alternatively, nut shells, or nuts if cost effective, can be used.


What will be my electricity costs?

For budgeting purposes it is sensible to assume that a generator will be used for 100% of operating time, given the unreliability of national grid supplies in most countries. Guidance for generator fuel consumption is given in the Operating Data Tables by Capacity in our Information Pack.