KOTA KINABALU: The proposed Tawau Green Energy Geothermal Power Plant project in Apas Kiri, Tawau is expected to be operational by 2015, making it the country's first grid-connected geothermal power plant. "The proposed project, under the Small Renewable Energy Programme, is within the Mount Andrassy Forest Reserve some 20km from Tawau," said Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) Project Director, Andrew Amaladoss. He said this during a seminar on Geothermal Energy organised by TGE at Hyatt Regency Hotel here Tuesday, adding that the centre of the project area lies on the south-eastern side of Mari Peak.
The proposed geothermal plant, he said, would be a flash steam type with a gross capacity of 36 Megawatt, 30 Megawatt export capacity with an annual energy generation of 224.352-megawatt hertz. He said TGE has entered into a 21-year Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to supply 30 Megawatt to SESB's grid in the Tawau Main Intake Substation and Kalumpang Main Intake Substation. "With an estimated cost of RM419 million, this project will be funded by local financial institutions and it has also qualified to receive a grant from the Private-Public Partnership Unit of the Prime Minister's Department for the access road and water tratement plant," he said.
Meanwhile, during a question and answer session, he thanked the Sabah Environmental Protection Assocation for their support for the project and vowed not to push things under the carpet if big issue arise. To another question, he said they are now concentrating on opening up the access road to bring in the heavy building equipment. "In the meantime, our in-house geothermal exploration team led by TGE Senior Geologist, Armando Licup, and Senior Geophysicist, Susianto mandagi, will now move into the field in about two weeks where they would be conducting their studies for the next three months. With the study results, we expect to do the first exploration well either by the first or second quarter of next year," he said.
"We are just a small player in a bigger picture and we are only supplementing SESB's generation capacity but hopefully our plant will have a large contribution to Tawau's electricity supply system," he said. To another question, he said, as fas as the Class One Foreset is concerned, it will remain Class One Forest Resrve, there is no re-zoning or de-gazetting.
Source from: Daily Express, Independent National Newspaper of East Malaysia
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