Friday, April 4, 2008

Malaysia Towards Renewable Energy...

TNB Signs MoU With Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd And J-Power To Develop Biomass Power Plant

- Plant to utilize palm oil empty fruit bunches (EFB) as fuel
- Power plant to be completed by end 2010

TENAGA NASIONAL BERHAD (TNB) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd and Japan's J-Power to develop a biomass power plant at Jengka, Pahang.

The renewable energy project is planned for completion by end of 2010. Fuel to generate electrical energy will be sourced from palm oil empty fruit bunches (EFB). Occupying an area of 4.6 hectares, the plant complex will house EFB processing and storage areas, a biomass boiler firing on EFB fuel, a steam turbine complete with the generator unit and other related auxiliaries. To ensure full compliance to Department of Environment requirements, the plant will be equipped with stringent environmental control and monitoring systems.

Upon completion, the plant will have a generation capacity of 10 MW and will be connected to the TNB 11 kV grid network that supplies electricity to the local surrounding areas.

The development of the Jengka biomass power plant is one of TNB's responses to the Government's Small Renewable Energy Power Programme (SREP) to promote renewable energy. Renewable energy has been widely accepted by the global energy industry as a necessary means of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases to address the problem of global climatic warming.

Previously, the Government had initiated a commitment to encourage the use of renewable energy by introducing the Five Fuel Diversification Policy. Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, the Government has set a national objective to have 350 MW of the country's power generated from renewable energy by 2010.

To date, TNB has signed 9 renewable-energy power purchase agreements (REPPAs) with SREP developers in Peninsular Malaysia with a total export capacity of 49.8 MW. As a sign of commitment to RE, TNB had also agreed to purchase RE generated power at a price of between 14 to 21 sen/kWj.

With the increased capacity to cope with the increasing demands of the area, the power plant will be bringing long term socio-economic benefits in terms of businesses and employment opportunities to the surrounding areas in Jengka, Pahang.

Representatives from the three companies met on Tuesday, 18 March 2008 at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton to sign the document in a simple ceremony. The company Felda Palm Industries Sdn. Bhd. is a subsidiary of Felda Holdings Berhad involved in the business of purchasing and processing fresh fruit bunches and sales of its finished products. The Japanese counterpart, J-Power is a wholesale electric power company that is involved in the development and operation of hydro, thermal and renewable energy plants.

In his speech to address the witnesses of the signing ceremony, TNB Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie, defined the project as being 'in line with our company policy to protect, conserve and improve the environment in all our operations'. He also said that TNB was commited to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and establishing standards that would lead to continuous improvement of its environmental performance.

Tan Sri Leo also pointed out that, 'TNB is among the first movers in supporting the government's efforts to promote renewable energy as the country's fifth fuel. We continue to encourage the use of renewable energy such as co-generation, solar and biomass for power generation, in order to achieve a diversified fuel mix.'

Tan Sri Leo later witnessed the memorandum signing in his capacity as TNB Chairman. He was joined by Chairman of the Energy Commission Dato' Pian Sukro and Chairman of Felda Holdings Berhad Tan Sri Dato' Mohd Yusof Noor.

Signing for TNB were its President/Chief Executive Officer Dato' Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, for Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd, its Group Managing Director Dato' Mohd Bakke Salleh and for J-Power, its Executive Officer and Director of Thermal Power Development Mr Fumiyoshi Matsuoka.

The signing witnesses were TNB's Senior Vice President (Corporate Affairs) Dato' Abdul Razak Abdul Majid, Felda Palm Industries Sdn Bhd's Chief Executive Officer Encik Abdul Halim Ahmad and J-Power's Director of International Power Business Department, Mr Naori Fukuda.