KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, a unit of Sime Darby Bhd, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia's national power producer, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), and Japanese industrial conglomerate Mitsui & Co Ltd to conduct a feasibility study on the potential of biogas projects at eight of its palm oil mills spread across Peninsular Malaysia.
The two-year study will involve the technical feasibility, financial viability and undertaking the necessary preliminary development works for implementation of potential biogas power-generation projects.
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“It is a timely study because today the world continues to grapple with the issue of depleting sources of energy and environmental protection,” Sime Darby Plantation executive vice-president Franki Anthony Dass said in his speech.
?It is a timely study because today the world continues to grapple with the issue of depleting sources of energy and environmental protection? FRANKI ANTHONY DASS
“We are confident that the result of the study would be positive and that the three parties would come out of the feasibility study with the proper data to generate electricity at our palm oil mills and further strengthen their green credentials.”
If results of the study show commercial viability, TNB will assist in connectivity of the green power generated to the national grid as well as operations and maintenance expertise, while Mitsui will contribute towards technical design and carbon financing.
Sime Darby Plantation, on the other hand, will provide plant sites through the palm oil mills it operates. According to Dass, by then, biogas production for power generation will no longer be constrained in the eight mills involved in the feasibility study, but also in other mills belonging to the company.
Sime Darby Plantation currently has 62 palm oil mills, of which 40 are in Malaysia and the rest in Indonesia.
At present, the renewable energy industry is still at its infancy stage in Malaysia, contributing less than 1% to the country's total energy mix. But the Government has recently outlined its plan to have renewable energy generating about 5.5%, or 985 megawatt (MW), of the total electricity generated in the country by 2015, and to eventually increase that to 11%, or 2,080MW, by 2020.
TNB, being a front-runner in the renewable energy in the country, has thus far signed 21 renewable energy power-purchase agreements, which account for a total capacity of 291MW, in the country.