Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Fomel Industry and National Industrialization Centre (FINIC) is making waves in the palm oil industry with its groundbreaking invention, the HERI Palm Kernel Oil Press. This revolutionary machine boasts the impressive capability to press six drums of palm kernel oil within a 10-hour day.
Melvin Kamara, the Managing Director of FINIC, revealed that the equipment underwent rigorous test runs in Port Loko District for nearly a year. Remarkably, it has proven to be more robust than comparable machines in the international market.
The introduction of this invention has not only showcased technological prowess but has also created employment opportunities, particularly for the youth in Rokoray Village, Maforki Chiefdom, Port Loko District.
The innovative approach extends beyond oil production. The by-products from palm nuts cracking, namely the shells, find a sustainable purpose in charcoal production without necessitating the felling of a single tree. Additionally, the by-product of pressing palm kernel oil, known as palm kernel cake, serves as valuable feedstock for fish, goats, and pig farming.
Kamara elaborated on the technical aspects, noting that the equipment is powered by a 20 Horse Power Diesel Engine, with the option to use an electric motor of equal power. The Oil Press, aptly named HERI (meaning riches in Limba), incorporates a technology that processes palm kernel oil into diesel without the need for chemical additives or transesterification.
“The irony that inspired the technology is spending money and time going to buy fossil diesel fuel to power the kernel oil press, while the oil expelled serves as an excellent biodiesel,” explained Kamara. He further highlighted FINIC’s commitment to innovation, citing the Manual Palm Fruits Digester branded Moneh Done and the upcoming palm butter Floatation Machine, a first-of-its-kind globally, as testament to their dedication to advancing the industry.
FINIC’s HERI Oil Press stands as a shining example of sustainable and transformative technology, propelling the palm kernel industry into a new era of efficiency and eco-friendly production. ZIJ/8/1/2024