Water is essential to the growth and productivity of oil palm plants and is used as an auxiliary material in the production process in the processing of palm oil and the refining process. Astra Agro has taken extensive measures to ensure the availability and quality of surface water and groundwater for our operations and the surrounding communities. We use groundwater as little as possible in our water management efforts. For the production process in the oil palm plantations and mills, we use surface water from rivers or tributaries within the plantations. The water required for the mill processing process is obtained from surface water, which flows into the reservoir and is then used as needed. Meanwhile, the Company’s refinery uses pre-treated seawater to meet the needs of the production process. Whilst, rainwater is still the primary source of water for oil palm plants in general.
The Company implements a water management system with the installation of sluice facilities to regulate water discharge and level. In addition, the Company puts efforts to maintain water catchment areas and surface water sources by conserving riparian areas through reforestation, implementing a terracing system in hilly areas and planting legume seeds to preserve the soil’s Moisture.
To save water, especially in mill and refinery operations, the Company has implemented several initiatives, including:
- Putting together an auto valve control system for the hot water tank to prevent water from being wasted in the ditch.
- Create a piping system to collect used extraction water and reuse it for mill cleaning.
- Condensate water is used as dilution water for CPO processing at press stations.
- Utilization of turbine cooling wastewater in other palm oil processing stages
- Sludge Centrifuge cleaning with Vacuum Dryer wastewater