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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SESB maintains coal stand

Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh

Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) reiterated its stand, Saturday (DE Mar 21,2010), that there is no alternative to coal that is most viable for generating power in the east coast in terms of both reliability and security.

Despite the many environmental problems known to accompany coal power, the coal plant is being pushed by both the federal Tenaga Nasional Berhad and the state energy company, Sabah Electricity Sdn. Bhd.

At Copenhagen last December, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, pledged a 40 percent cut in carbon dioxide intensity by 2020. By moving forward on coal energy, Malaysia would make meeting this goal even more difficult, since coal is the most carbon intensive of the fossil fuels.

Professor Daniel Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at the University of California, Berkeley shows that pollution-intensive coal doesn't have to be in Sabah's future. Read “Borneo Can Say “No” to Coal Power.”

Meanwhile, Kalabakan MP Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said that Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd should abandoned its plans for a 300MW coal plant and instead look at the potential of green energy from abundant supply of oil palm biomass.

He said the SESB insistence of going ahead with a coal-fired power plant was completely wrong as coal usage was outdated, an environmental problem and the fuel had to be imported.

“It is not a security. How reliable is the coal supply especially we have to import its fuel and what happens if countries like Indonesia stop such exports?” said the outspoken MP whose Tawau constituency has been in hit by frequent power failures.

He said it was also uneconomical in the long run to use coal as a source of energy and such fuel was not friendly to Sabah’s fragile eco environment.

Ghapur said that enough studies had been done by experts to confirm that biomass was a sufficient resource in Sabah to provide green energy and could reduce production cost to RM0.20 per unit.

Furthermore, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry had also confirmed the abundance of about 8 million tones of Biomass from 160 palm oil mills.

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