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Site Preparation Considerations for DME installation

 Choosing a site

The DME site is subject to a number of variables according to the way the business will be run, the preferences of the new owners, the amount of work expected from the site and the location in reference to other factors. Critical among these are the coconut supply, the availability of workers and the means of transport. In reading the following, such matters need to be considered in regard to your particular situation. It is preferable to use local materials where available and tailor the business plan to suit local custom. I.e. in some areas people work for 8 hours while in others they might prefer two 4 hour shifts

Location and Area required

The following things should be taken into consideration BEFORE designing the shed:

Resource availability

There should be an assured supply of coconuts and workers in the area. Take into account whether there are more attractive work opportunities in the area. For example, a tourist resort, commercial fishing or logging may attract away your workers.


  • If possible, locate the shed near to the source of supply as coconuts are awkward and bulky to transport.
  • Orient the shed to suit road or transport access for bringing in the nuts and taking out the oil.
  • The size and weight of trucks that might come to the site, the number of times they may come and wet weather access.
  • Security issues may determine the final choice of location.
  • The local government regulations for roadside buildings


  • Prevailing wind, rain and weather should be on the opposite side to the drier, which needs exposure to breezes but not rain.
  • Which way will the smoke blow? (away from the workers?)


  • During heavy rain and hosing down for cleaning every day where will the water drain to?
  • Are there existing drains available?
  •  Will there be toilets at the site? How will the sewerage be dealt with?


  • An adequate supply of fresh water is needed for washing hands and washing down at the end of the day, as this is a food production centre.
  • Larger amounts of water are needed for cleaning down the drier and washing the cement floors, is this water available? Do you need to install a rainwater tank?
  • A reliable water supply will be needed for workers toilets and hand washing.


  • A fence, wall or gate enclosed area is needed to keep out animals and children when the unit is not in use. This needs to be added to the area required.


  • A lock up or storage area for oil and nuts. The nuts need to be supplied 2 –3 days ahead of the work so they can dry out in wet weather. How much area will you need? Considering using 500 nuts per day in full production.
  • An optional storage area for the meal left over from the pressing that may be used later for desiccated coconut, refrigerated or a vacuum packed. How much storage area will you need for the finished product? Consider producing up to 50liters maximum of oil a day in one shift.

Building and construction

  •  A safe accessible area is needed for the delivery of construction materials and the making of cement

NEXT STEP go to the site ecomomics calculator and see if it will be viable for you

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