Tawau Green Energy to set up Geothermal Resource Centre in Tawau
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Tawau Green Energy (TGE) is currently developing Malaysia's first geothermal power plant project at Apas Kiri, Tawau District in the east coast of the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. When completed in 2016, the power plant will export 30MWe to the Sabah State Grid, and will complement the Grid's generation capacity in Sabah's east coast.

As geothermal energy development and its associated technologies are new to Malaysia, the Federal government has requested TGE to establish a Geothermal Resource Centre (GRC) in Tawau.

In response, TGE has embarked on setting up the GRC, with the objectives of:

  • Bringing together stakeholders and specialists in the geothermal energy industry to provide capacity building for the budding Malaysian geothermal industry;
  • Providing specific training and short course programmes in the areas of applied geosciences (geology, geophysics and geochemistry), geothermal exploration, geothermal drilling, steamfield and power plant design and operations, etc.; and
  • Providing a platform for local universities to collaborate with foreign institutions in the field of geothermal energy.

TGE is collaborating with world leaders in the fields of geothermal research and development, geothermal training, geothermal energy technology and other related stakeholders, to establish and facilitate the GRC.

In February 2014, TGE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Auckland, New Zealand, well known as a world class institution with its own Geothermal Institute and ground breaking research into geothermal exploration technologies.

On 28 March 2014, TGE signed an MoU with Universiti Sabah Malaysia (UMS), a leading Malaysian university in the field of geological sciences. Under the MoU, UMS lecturers and students will be able to undertake field research works at TGE's project site in Apas Kiri. UMS' unsurpassed knowledge of the geology of the Tawau-Semporna peninsula will be of great use in the activities of the GRC. A specialist geothermal laboratory is also planned to complement UMS' existing geology laboratory facilities.

At the same time, TGE also signed an MoU with Atlas Copco, a leading provider of Binary or Organic Rankine Cycle geothermal power plant technology, for not only collaboration in the design, equipment supply and operation of TGE's power plant, but also as a partner in the GRC, providing specialist training in separators, pre-heaters, recuperators, radial inflow turbines and cooling systems.

TGE is also working to enter into similar arrangements with the United Nations University Geothermal Programme, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia.

The GRC will be the only training facility of its kind in Malaysia and will reinforce Tawau's position as Malaysia's geothermal hub. The geothermal industry relies on a spectrum of professionals with varying technical backgrounds and experience. These require substantial hands-on training. The GRC, apart from providing formal training activities, will also enable local engineers and scientists to receive hands-on training at TGE's geothermal well sites, steamfield and power plant facilities. This will eventually enable the availability of a pool of local geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, and geothermal power plant engineers well versed in geothermal exploration techniques, steamfield design and operation, and geothermal power plant design and operation. 

Signing of MoU with University of Auckland
Signing of MoU with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)
Signing of MoU with Atlas Copco
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