FELDA Poised to Connect to National Grid by End of 2011

THE Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), traditionally a plantation owner and manager, is set to sell electricity to national utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) (5347) by end-2011.

That is when Felda’s biomass-powered energy plant at its land scheme in Jengka, Pahang, will be ready.

Felda Holdings Bhd general manager and head of biomass division of corporate planning and biomass, Ahmad Nor Azman Jamin, said the plant’s connectivity to the national power grid will be its first initiative to support the government’s Small and Renewable Energy Programme (SREP).

“The plant will generate 10 megawatts (MW) of power and we will sell it to TNB at 21 sen per kilowatt hour,” he told visiting reporters at Felda’s Sahabat land scheme in Sabah yesterday.
Ahmad said the biomass plant in Jengka will use 300,000 tonnes of empty fresh fruit bunches or oil palm waste (biomass) derived from its seven mills.

It will also be modelled after the group’s existing biomass plant in Sahabat.

Built in 2004, the Sahabat biomass plant generates 7MW of power fed by the biomass produced by its 10 mills.

However, Felda does not sell the power to the national grid, using it to run its boilers and light up its buildings.

In 2006, the Sahabat plant was endorsed by the United Nations as a clean development mechanism project, which qualifies for carbon emission reduction credits.

The Jengka plant will be managed by FTJ Bio Power Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture company between Felda (51 per cent), JPower (24.5 per cent) and TNB (24.5 per cent).

JPower is one of Japan’s largest independent power producers.

Ahmad declined to reveal the cost as the construction tender is now out.

Similar plants will be set up in future at Felda’s other land schemes nationwide, the location of which will be announced later.

Ahmad, who is also FTJ chief executive officer, said that although revenue from selling power to TNB would be small, what was important was Felda’s contribution towards government efforts in converting its 2.8 million tonnes of biomass nationwide into green energy.

He added that the Jengka plant would be the fourth of its kind in the country.

The three other biomass plants connected to the national grid are all in Sabah and operated by TSH Resources Bhd and two other private companies in Kina and Seguntor.

Source : Business Times by Zaidi Isham Ismail

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