Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tawau Geothernal Power Plant Operational by 2015

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 form 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 Maria Peak.

The proposed geothermal plant, he said, would be a flash steam type with a fross 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 SESB to supply 30 Megawatt to SESB's grid in the Tawau Main Intake Substation an Kalumpang Main Intake Substation.

"With an extimated cost of Rm 419 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 PM's Department for the access road and water treatment plant," he said. Meanwhile, during a question and answer session, he thanked the Sabah Environmental Protection Association for their support for the project and vowed not to push things under the carpet if big issues 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, Amando Licup, and Senior Geophysicist, Susianto Mandagi, will 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. 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 far as the Class One Forest Reserve is concerned, it will remain Class One Forest Reserve, there is no re-zoning or de-gazetting.

"And why we choose the forest reserve area is because of its closeness to the geothermal prospect itself...we need to go to where the fuel is because we can't bring the fuel to us. The site chosen for the power plant is in the forest reserve and the site was specifically chosen because right now there is no primary forest in that area due to illegal encroachment many years ago and I think the Authorities took care of it."

"As far as the well sites are concerned, we will try to avoid major disturbance to the environment as far as possible and this is also in our agreement and our protocols with the Sabah Forestry Department and Sabah Parks. If it is inevitable that we cannot avoid some, then there is a hefty compensation that we have to pay to the authorities. We have to show them why the tree has to be felled and they will come and measure and mark it. Only then we can fell it and the tree will still remain in their possession."

"It is not in our interest to go around felling trees and we try to avoid it. In fact, a lot of geothermal power plants are located in national parks, so the class one forest will not be re-zoned or re-gazetted, it will remain a forest but we have very strict conditions to build and operate in these areas," he said.

Also present was General Manager of Regional Execution Centre East Asia for Alstom Renewable Power, Efienne Palasti.

Source: Daily Express
Photo: discovertawau


Anonymous said...

A geothermal power plant costing about RM419 million is being built by Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) at Apas Kiri , Tawau.

Anonymous said...

The plant is expected to be completed in late 2014 and will be Malaysia’s first grid-connected geothermal plant

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