Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coal is green - Truely Malaysia Boleh

January 16, 2010
Minister: Coal is green?

KOTA KINABALU: Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui was surprised to hear of the Sarawak government’s decision to classify the exploitation of coal as a renewable energy project.

“It is news to me,” Chin told reporters when asked about criticism against the state government’s move to classify the mining of 1.156bil tonnes of coal reserves as renewable energy .

“I want to investigate further. I read about it but I do not know where such a classification came from,” added Chin, who had earlier witnessed the signing of a power purchase agreement between Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and SPR Energy Sdn Bhd.

Chin said the federal government did not consider coal a renewable energy and “believed that everyone knows that”.

On the proposed coal-fired power plant in Tungku in Sabah’s east coast Lahad Datu district, Chin said a detailed Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report would be available in March.

He said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman had informed him that the state was waiting for the EIA report before deciding whether to allow the 300MW plant, which has drawn strong protests from environmentalists.

However, Chin said there was a need for the 300MW plant in the east coast of Sabah, which was currently relying on old diesel generator sets providing about 200MW power.

“We don’t have reliable supply. We need to have the 300MW plant ready to meet the electricity demands in the east coast,” he added.

Chin said his ministry was also cooperating with the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry to harness empty fruit bunches at oil palm estates and develop green energy.

He said they were encouraging large oil palm plantations to generate renewable energy and sell it to SESB to overcome the power shortage.

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