Monday, December 28, 2009

Please READ this article which insults Sabahan's and our ability to stand up for our environment!

This shocking column was printed by the News Straits Times on Christmas Day.

The columnist (not journalist) stated, "The woolly-minded democracy-boosters in Sabah also need to be very careful of what they really wish for."

He also seems to be confused as what constitutes renewable energy as he states, "Sarawak - ostensibly the new corridor of renewable energy - breezes along nicely without the burden of a public debate on whether or not to have coal-fired power stations." Hello, since when is coal a renewable energy?? And I think all Malaysians know they type of democracy practiced in Sarawak...

But wait there's more... "The green campaigners need to take their fight somewhere else. In these parts, where trees still outnumber humans, the minimal extra carbon emitted from coal-burning is not a seriously damaging trade-off."
(Note: Italicised emphasis added by Green SURF)

Well you can read the full "column" at :

Judge for yourself....And hopefully you will write to the "columnist" at and better still write to the Editor at Please include your name (but you can include a pseudonym), your address and your phone number.

If you agree with this posting please do write to the Editor and make it known.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sabah Coal Plant Chronology

Proposed Location 1 (2007) : Silam, Lahad Datu
  • Coal Plant to be sited at Silam, Lahad Datu
  • EIA NOT approved
  • State Assembly concerned about the potential harm it would bring to the community and to the nearby environmentally sensitive areas
  • Sabah scraps RM1.3b Silam power plant

Proposed Location 2 (2008) : Seguntor, Sandakan
  • Coal plant to be sited in .........Sandakan (Sandakan community fights back)
  • NO EIA was conducted
  • State Assembly rejects due to strong objection from the local community.
Proposed Location 3 (2009) : Kg Sinakut, Lahad Datu.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Palm oil millers can help solve Sabah power shortage

By Ooi Tee Ching

SABAH'S power shortage can be mitigated if the government provides better incentives for palm oil millers to generate renewable energy.

There are 410 palm oil mills in the country, of which 117 are in Sabah. Mills emit methane from retention ponds after oil extraction.

"Estate owners can trap methane from the mill sludge to fuel up steam turbines and generate electricity, a renewable source of clean energy," said Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad.

"This is one of the cleaner alternatives for Sabah, instead of installing coal-fired power plants. Biomass and biogas technology is available now," he told Business Times in an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

"What we need is some financial assistance. Millers need around RM6 million to install methane gas trapping and steam turbine generators," he said.

From January 2010, the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water pledged to facilitate RM1.5 billion worth of cheap loans via local banks for the provision and usage of green technologies.

"Relatively cheap loans is a good start but matching grants can make a difference in solving Sabah's power shortage," he added.

Currently, utility giant Tenaga Nasional Bhd via its "Small Renewable Energy Programme" is offering to buy renewable energy at only 21sen/KWh. Another stumbling block is the lack of connectivity between neighbouring mills to the national grid.

"If the government were to fund the hook-up and raise the price to 30sen/KWh, we can quickly realise this initiative among palm oil millers to benefit neighbouring rural communities," Sabri said.

A good role model is TSH Resources Bhd. Since 2005, it has been turning dirty methane gas emitted by its mills to clean energy. TSH's mills generate 14 megawatts (MW), of which they sell 10MW back to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and keep 4MW for its own use.

Methane is one of the many polluting gas in the environment that contributes to global warming and depletion of the ozone layer. Therefore, methane gas trapping and electricity generation is an environmental-friendly initiative.

Next year the European Union (EU), a major biofuels consumer, will impose a target to only accept biodiesel that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 35 per cent versus fossil fuel, which risks cutting out palm oil which the EU considers to save only 19 per cent.

Sabri, who have just returned from Brussels, said the European Commission's Joint Research Centre - the scientific body responsible for the scientific and technical aspects of EU policy development - is likely to show higher savings for palm oil.

"Having received our latest data gathered from 102 estates in Malaysia, the JRC (scientists) say palm oil could show savings of more than 19 per cent," Sabri said.

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.