KOTA KINABALU: A local company is set to pioneer renewable energy in State by tapping into geothermal sources in Tawau.
Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) which inked a deal with Sabah Electricity Board (SESB) on Tuesday, aims to generate in the next two years 30MW of electricity for Tawau and its surrounding areas for up to 100 years.
Its 572 million geothermal power plant at Apas Kiri, which will be connected to the Sabah electricity grid, will also be Malaysia's first renewable energy power plant using geothermal energy resources.
TGE Project Director Andrew Amaladoss said work will commence Wednesday and is scheduled for completion by September 2016, is one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy with carbon footprints very much lower than of coal, fossil oil and natural gas.
He said this during the renewable energy power purchase agreement signed between the company and SESB.
"There are may be more capacity of energy that can be generated from the site but the plant can only generate 36MW.
"There may be further expansion projects when this one is complete but there is still a lot of detailed studies to be conducted before any decision is made," he said.
Amaladoss said unlike conventional power plants, where capital investment is relatively low and operational costs relatively high, geothermal power plants are highly capital intensive but have relatively low operational costs.
This is mainly due to significant costs in developing the steamfield, and with proper management of the geothermal reservoir, the resource can be sustained over many decades to provide clean and reliable power, he said.
The project cost is almost RM572 million and will be financed by local financial institutions on a conventional project financing basis.
It will also receive a grant from the Public-Private Partnership Unit in the Prime Minister's Department, to finance the construction of the access road to the project site and a water treatment plant.
In this respect, SESB Managing Director, Datuk Baharin bin Din said the capacity of electricity generated from the geothermal plant will be assimilated into SESB's grid utilising the 132kV lines into Tawau and the Kalumpang main intake.
"The pioneering work and development of this geothermal initiative will definitely bring forth positive impacts towards infrastructure development especially in Tawau," he said.
"It is a fact that we at SESB welcome renewable energy initiatives and developments, as it not only will help Sabah in diversifying its energy source and generation mix, but also indirectly reduce our dependency for power that is generated from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuel," he added.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun who was present to witness the signing said Tawau Green Energy is moving in a right direction in the sense of producing environmentally friendly products.
Also present were TGE Managing Director, Ramzi Raad, SESB Company Secretary Zunaidah Osman, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and SESB Board of Directors President and Chief Executive Officer Dato' Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh.
Source from: Daily Express
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