Monday, December 14, 2009

Do not believe the claims that Sabah has no alternative but Coal!

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd recently held a "retreat" for journalist where they made many claims about the safety, energy policies and financial benefits of having a coal fired power plant in Sabah.

DO NOT BELIEVE everything you read, we have alternatives!

Read the following article based on an interview with Renewable Energy expert Adrian Lasimbang:

Empty fruit bunches an alternative to coal?
14th December, 2009

KOTA KINABALU: A community-based organisation has suggested an alternative to coal as a source of energy to boost power supply in the east coast of Sabah.

Partners of Community Organisations or PACOS, said there was no need to resort to “dirty” energy such as coal to solve the power woes.

Adrian Lasimbang, an expert on renewable energy, said empty fruit bunches which were a natural waste product from oil palm plantations could generate the much needed electricity.

“I am not talking about future technology but what is being used right now by TSH in Kunak at their bio-integrated complex where they produce a whopping 14megawatts of electricity using empty fruit bunches,” he said.

In 2005, TSH Resources Berhad was the first in the world to use empty fruit bunches (EFB) as well as palm oil mill effluents (POME) which are produced as residue after the extraction process.

“If TSH can do this, why can’t other palm oil mills? Sabah has 1.4 million hectares of oil palm and hundreds of palm oil mills and most of these are on the east coast,” he pointed out.

Adrian who heads the PACOS Trust Resource Management Programme which includes renewable energy said the technology was simple.

It only requires a small scale turbine with the EFB, which is a waste product, as the fuel.

“This concept is in line with the Malaysian Green Technology Policy which was launched by the Prime Minister in July,” he said.

He contended that the palm oil industry had already taken plenty of resources from the state and now they not only had the opportunity to give back to the people but it would also benefit them.

“The bottom line is Sabah has alternatives to having a coal-fired power plant and the technology is available.

Now what we seem to have is a lack of will from certain parties who say that there is no alternative but this is not true. We have alternatives. Imagine what a great model for the world Sabah will be with this!” stated Adrian.

The TSH mill produces 14 megawatts of electricity of which 10megawatts is sold to the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and the remaining 4megawatts is retained.

At least 300megawatts of electricity is needed in the east coast and Adrian suggests sourcing the power from the mills that adopt the technology already in use by TSH.

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