Thursday, December 7

Sabah Rural Electrification Initiative wins ASEAN Energy Awards


Fifth from left, Head of Sime Darby Plantation Renewable Energy, Dr Hirzun Mohd Yusof accepts the second runner-up for the Renewable Energy – On-Grid category at the ASEAN Energy Awards.

KOTA KINABALU (Aug 30): Sime Darby Plantation Renewable Energy Sdn Bhd (SDPRE) is the second runner-up in the prestigious ASEAN Energy Awards (AEA) for Sabah Rural Electrification Initiative.

The category of the award was Renewable Energy – On-Grid.

The recognition was accorded to SDPRE’s successful rural electrification project called, ‘Captive Power and Rural Community Electrification via Renewable Energy Sourcing from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), at the Sandakan Bay Biogas Power Plant (SBBPP)’. SDPRE is a fully owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP).

POME, a wastewater by-product of the palm oil milling process emits methane, a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) which has 27 times higher global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

SBBPP captures methane from POME and converts it into biogas, a renewable source of energy that generates electricity. With its strong 1 MWe capacity, the electricity generated by SBBPP is distributed to essential points of SDP’s palm oil operations in Sandakan Bay including the workers’ quarters and approximately 825 houses in the surrounding local community, meeting about four million kWh/year demand. These housing areas are remote, and they do not have the access to the grid connection.

SDPRE was selected to represent Malaysia in the AEA 2023 after winning the National Energy Awards (NEA) 2023 organised by Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) back on 17 August 2023.

The NEA serves as a platform to acknowledge exceptional accomplishments and exemplary practices from both the public and private sectors, recognising their contributions to advancing the nation’s sustainable energy goals.

Head of Sime Darby Plantation Renewable Energy, Dr Hirzun Mohd Yusof said the company was deeply honoured to receive the accolade from the ASEAN Energy Awards.

“Our Captive Power and Rural Community Electrification initiative showcases the transformative potential of renewable energy, creating a model that aligns with Sime Darby Plantation’s commitment to reducing carbon footprint while positively impacting local communities,” said Dr Hirzun.

SDPRE developed the Captive Power business model for some of its biogas plant projects to generate electricity for SDP’s palm oil operations own consumption where connection to the grid is not viable. This not only addresses energy accessibility challenges but also contributes to cleaner energy solutions and minimise environmental impact.

“This is a very proud moment for us and a significant recognition of our journey in the Renewable Energy space. It further amplifies Sime Darby Plantation’s commitment to Net-Zero as well as our Culture of Care where the benefits are shared with the surrounding community where we operate,” added Dr Hirzun.

SDP has committed to achieving Net-Zero across its entire value chain by 2050. The development of SDP’s various biogas projects to capture methane across its operations is a critical initiative to achieving this target.

To date, SDP has 15 operational biogas plants across its entire upstream operations, and it aims to install a total of 49 biogas plants by 2030.

The AEA 2023 was held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre (BNDCC), Bali, Indonesia, on August 25, in conjunction with the 41st ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) and ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2023.

The ASEAN Renewable Energy Project Awards, known for acknowledging outstanding contributions to sustainable energy solutions, highlights projects that drive positive environmental and social impacts within the region.

For more information about SDP’s sustainable initiatives, please visit