Facility to Trap and Destroy Methane Gas is 60 Percent Completed

SARAWAK’S first Biogas Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project

using the closed continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) anaerobic system

is 60% completed and expected to be operational within three months.

The CDM project was successfully registered with the United Nations

Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February last year.

Construction began in November last year and was targeted for

completion in eight months.

“The facility’s main objective is to

trap and destroy methane gas by flaring before it is emitted into the

air. Methane is 21 times more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2),” said

Konzen Clean Energy Sdn Bhd (KCE) chief executive officer Mike Teo Su

Kiam in Mukah recently.

The Shah Alam-based KCE has partnered

Rinwood Pelita (Mukah) Plantation Sdn Bhd (RPP) in developing the

RM7.5mil CDM project near its mill about 30km from Mukah town.

Making

progress: The RM7.5mil CDM project at the Rinwood Pelita.

Teo said that RPP was chosen for this pioneering project after

taking into consideration that it was strategically located in the

Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy and had met all the risk mitigation

criteria.

One of the most important criteria was the commitment

of oil palm plantation owners to reduce the emission of harmful gases

from the mills.

“At the very first meeting, Datuk Hii Yii Peng,

the managing director of RPP, and his son King Chiong, agreed to

implement the CDM project. They were serious in protecting and improving

the environment,” Teo added.

With total area of 24,000ha

producing 500,000 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per year, RPP’s

production will support operations at the CDM project for many decades.

Teo said that research and development on the CDM project begun more

than three years ago by KCE’s in-house engineers.

The concept

and design met the strict registration criteria of UNFCCC.

Under

the project, a developing country like Malaysia can generate certified

emission reductions (CERs) by implementing emission reduction projects.

These CERs can be traded and sold to industrialised countries to meet or

offset their emission reduction targets.

The estimated CERs from

the RPP project is 40,000 to 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. At the

current price of 12 euro (RM51) per tonne, the company stands to earn

more than RM2mil annually.

Teo said that palm oil mill effluents

discharged from mills in Sarawak were dumped into a series of open

lagoons for treatment.

“This open lagoon anaerobic process emits

offensive odours and harmful methane gas into the atmosphere and has an

adverse effect on the climate,” he added.

Kuching-born Teo is a

chemical engineer by training.

His career in the treatment of

industrial waste water has taken him to major countries across Asia in

the past 15 years.

He said that KCE and RPP were planning the

RM6mil CDM project second phase which would commercially produce

electricity using biogas.

“We are in talks with Sarawak Energy

Bhd (SEB) to look into the possibility of supplying them with 2.5MW of

electricity,” he said.

He said that eight other palm oil mill

owners in Sarawak had signed a letter of intent with KCE to build the

CDM projects in the next three years.

Source : The Star by Philip Hii

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