Tuesday, February 7

SESB may look at biogas

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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) may consider biogas as an alternative to the coal-fired power plant in the generation of electricity for Sabah,

There is a big opportunity for the production of biogas in Sabah due to the presence of many oil palm mills and their effluents.

Deputy Natural Resource Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said the sludge produced by oil palm mills could produce biogas, which in turn could be used to generate fuel for the production of electricity as well as for cooking and so on.

“The operators refuse to treat the sludge so anyone who wants to generate biogas can collect it. I hope they don’t sell it because if they don’t treat it, they will be penalised by the DOE (Department of Environment),” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between 28 organisations to make way for a collaboration in implementing environment awareness programmes

James added that the oil palm mills would realise the value of the sludge when people started using them to generate biogas and fuel.

“It is all about balancing an act on how to utilise our waste,” he said.

He also said he was willing to help SESB by giving it advice and even designing a bio-digester for them.

Earlier in his speech, James also provided a glimpse on the benefits of biogas.

He explained that biogas could be produced by waste generated by people, and that included human excrement.

“Two schools with 150 students have been adopted, and the 75 cubic meters of biogas produced has the potential of producing more heat. It is also free so it is better than LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas)…we don’t need LPG,” he said.

He also said the bio-digestor he designed had been adopted by companies in Japan, Myanmar and in Korea.

Meanwhile, a total of 22 agencies in Sabah and eight from the Federal Territory of Labuan yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to embark on a smart partnership to raise awareness of conserving the environment in Sabah.

The MoU shall also act as a medium for the agencies to implement, encourage and raise the membership in its Friends of the Environment programme.

James said if the agencies were successful in protecting and conserving the environment, they would encourage others to follow suit.

Also present to grace the event was Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.