Moroccan olive sector ready to explore biomass-to-energy solutions

Photo by Steve Jurvetson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

February 24 (SeeNews) - Moroccan olive oil industry is considering options to upgrade production facilities with systems that can turn residues of olive-oil production into fuel.

According to estimates of experts of local association Agro-pole Olivier  2 kilograms of olive pits (also called olive stones or kernels) could produce energy equivalent to one litre of diesel or in other words, olive pits carry a calorific value of about 5 kWh/kg.

Agro-pole Olivier is currently conducting a practical study project called Olea Green Meknes whose purpose is to determine the capacity for biofuel production from olive residues, the association's directoe Noureddine Ouazzani told Moroccan daily L'Economiste.

Meknes currently has a crushing capacity of 5,000 tonnes of olives per day as well as good infrastructure for processing of byproducts from the olive oil production. Annually, some 200,000 tonnes of biomass are produced, which could cut by about 30% the electricity bill of Meknes, which estimated at MAD 200 million (USD 20.4m/ EUR 18.5m) per year.

Agro-pole Olivier works as a group of public interest for the development and promotion of the olive oil sector. It is located in the Meknes-Tafilalet region, the cradle of the olive tree farms in Morocco, and has the ambition to be a centre for innovation and knowledge sharing for improvement of the product quality and the sustainable development of the olive oil industry.

(MAD 10 = USD 1.018/ EUR 0.925)

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