Archive for July, 2011

Malaysia Needs More Energy Managers, Says Energy Commission

Posted on July 20, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

PUTRAJAYA, July 19 (Bernama) — Malaysia needs more registered electrical energy managers (REEMs) to advise companies on effective use of energy, says Energy Commission’s (EC) chief executive officer, Ahmad Fauzi Hasan.

He said currently there were 152 REEMs registered with the commission to assist about 1,500 companies who had bigger electricity installations.

Under the Efficient Management of Electrical Energy Regulation 2008, any installation that generates or consumes more than three million kWh in six consecutive months, is mandatory to appoint a REEM.

“About 500 companies failed to report to us after consuming more,” Ahmad Fauzi told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of Asean Energy Management Scheme (AEMAS) and conference here.

Secretary-general of Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Loo Took Gee, launched the AEMAS and the conference.

AEMAS is the first regional certification system for energy managers and energy end-users, funded by the European Union under the Switch-Asia Programme.

It is currently being implemented by the Asean Centre for Energy in eight Asean member countries — Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Asean Plan Action for Energy Cooperation’s cumulative target is to reduce the region’s energy intensity by eight per cent (based on 2005 level) by 2015.

Meanwhile, Green Technology Corp’s chief executive officer, Dr Nazily Mohd Noor, said up to May this year, 160 local energy managers had been trained under the scheme.

“We have the key performance indicator of producing 500 energy managers by 2014,” he said, adding that Green Technology Corp, also known as GreenTech Malaysia, has been appointed as the AEMAS Country Chapter for Malaysia.

“We are responsible for implementing all the role of AEMAS Country Chapter at national level from training local trainers and auditors, organising training and certification for energy managers, until organising promotion and awareness campaigns.

“All these initiatives are to inculcate a sustainable energy management culture,” he said.

Malaysia is committed to reduce emission intensity of gross domestic product by up to 40 per cent by 2020.

— BERNAMA

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Bernama Launches Green Technology Essay Writing Contest

Posted on July 19, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 (Bernama) –The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) is launching an essay-writing contest on green technology and climate change from tomorrow to Sept 20 offering total prize money of RM8,500.

Bernama Domestic News Service Deputy Editor-In-Chief, Zulkefli Salleh said, in conjunction with public awareness promotion programmes on green technology and climatic changes, the contest was aimed at giving an avenue and opportunity to the people, especially the younger generation, to give their ideas and views on green technology.

“They have plenty of ideas and will inherit the nation and this earth. They should be given the chance to be heard by policymakers and industry.

“They are the ones who will bear the negative impact of global warming or climatic changes if green technology is not embraced and practiced,” he said.

Zulkefli said the contest was also aimed at educating and encouraging the younger generation to think innovatively and to have an inclusive attitude in contributing their energy and thoughts towards a peaceful and prosperous nation and the world in general.

The title of the essay for the contest is ‘Check Global Warming and Upgrade Energy Efficiency Through Green Technology’. The essays must be in Bahasa Malaysia and between 1,500 and 2,000 words.

The essay selected for the top prize of RM3,000 must be able to create awareness among readers the importance of green technology in contributing towards efforts to overcome global warming and boosting the efficiency of energy usage.

It must also be analytical in nature besides containing actual examples on the benefit of green technology and sound suggestions on how green technology can be popularised.

Zulkefli said the contest was open to all Malaysian citizens who are amateur writers aged above 21, including students in Malaysia and abroad. Professional writers are not entitled to take part.

He said the contest was part of the promotion programme by the Public Awareness Promotion Working Committee on Green Technology and Climate Change under the Green Technology and Climate Change Council chaired by the Prime Minister.

The committee is represented by various ministries, related departments and non-government organisations, headed by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture.

The other prizes awaiting the winners are RM2,000 for second place, RM1,000 for third place and five consolation prizes of RM500 each.

For more details on participation and conditions of contest, please visit http://www.bernama.com or contact Bernama’s Corporate Communications Division at 03-26962306/03-26962307 or E-mail to peraduan@bernama.com.

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Federal Government Spends RM4.8 Million On Living Allowance For Penang Fishermen

Posted on July 19, 2011. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods |

BALIK PULAU, July 19 (Bernama) — The federal government has spent RM4.8 in living allowance for about 4,500 fishermen in Penang between January and June this year, said Penang Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM)director, Raja Kahalid Raja Ariffin.

He said all fishermen registered with LKIM would be given the allowance of RM200 a month.

“The government spends about RM900,000 a month to help fishermen in the state,” he told reporters at the presentation of the allowance to 559 fishermen in Teluk Bahang by the Tajung Parliament Agriculture Development Council chairman, Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar.

Raja Kahalid said fishermen in Penang earned between RM800 and RM1,200 a month, which was above the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Ahmad, who is also Penang Port Sdn Bhd managing director, suggested that fishermen in Teluk Bahang to set up a cooperative.

“This will enable them to set up businesses, like open a restaurant, which can help generate income so that they don’t have to depend on their catch alone,” he added.

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Lynas required to compile residents health data for future comparison

Posted on July 19, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Star-

KUANTAN: Lynas Corp is required to compile a medical history of residents living nearby the Gebeng industrial area that would contain their present state of health with the aim of using the information for future comparison after its rare earth facility commenced operation.

Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) director general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said it would serve as a baseline data for Lynas before the operation began.

“It will be used later to provide a comparison for assessing the operation’s impact on the people living in nearby areas such as Balok.

“We will see whether there is any increase of people afflicted with radiation-linked diseases or cancer,” he said when met after a briefing on the project to state government officers and staff here recently.

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Selangor to retain waste collection service

Posted on July 16, 2011. Filed under: Waste |

-The Star-

THE Selangor Government will not allow the federal government to takeover the domestic waste management service when the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Act 2007 (Act 672) is implemented next month.

State local government committee chairman Ronnie Liu said the Act which was aimed at privatising the domestic garbage collection services through concessionaire companies would not be implemented in Selangor.

“The state has officially written to the federal government of our decision of not being part of the move.

“Several other states including Penang and Perak will also not be signing the deal,’’ he said.

Liu said the state felt solid waste management services should be administered by the state through local authorities.

He said the idea of surrendering the domestic waste management service to the federal government made no sense as it would only further complicate the matter.

“We foresee that such a move will provide more space for red tape and deprive the ratepayers of efficient service. The move will not be cost-effective,’’ he said.

Asked whether the state planned to terminate the services of Alam Flora, Liu said the state had no such plan.

He said Alam Flora would be allowed to continue its garbage collection service.

Under the privatisation move, households would be required to pay service charges to the concessionaire companies which are responsible for garbage collection.

At present, the service is provided by Alam Flora contractors who were paid by the various local authorities.

The implementation of the Act will also include the setting up of two bodies, one to regulate and another responsible for operations.

The Department of National Solid Waste Management is the regulatory body while the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Corporation is responsible for the operations.

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TNB Mulls Sourcing Electricity From Sarawak

Posted on July 16, 2011. Filed under: Energy |

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Bernama) — Tenaga Nasional Bhd is mulling the idea of sourcing electricity from Sarawak for Peninsular Malaysia in the future especially with plans for any nuclear power plant as an alternative power source remain uncertain.

Its chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Che Khalib, said Sarawak has the capacity to generate electricity from several hydropower projects to up to 20,000 megawatts to cater to the needs of the peninsula.

“We need to do this because at this moment, to develop nuclear project, the public reception towards this project may not be there yet. It may delay the implementation of nuclear power plant,” he told reporters after the company’s Family Day 2011 here today.

At the same time, TNB cannot rely on fossil fuels like coal and gas as they would continue to deplete, he said.

“If we don’t have nuclear, we have to look back at the option of taking power from Sarawak even though it will be very costly. The cost of putting undersea cables from Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia is going to cost us a lot of money.”

Che Khalib was commenting on the Energy Commission (EC)’s suggestion recently that Peninsular Malaysia would need to take power from Sarawak if the government deferred plans to build a nuclear power plant.

This has generated some interest on the possible revival of the multi-billion ringgit submarine power cable project.

Currently, the total consumption of electricity in Peninsular Malaysia is about 15,000MW, with its electricity demand growing between five and eight per cent evey year.

According to EC, over 10,0000MW of new and replacement generation capacity will be required in the peninsula from now to 2020.

It is expected that about 1,000 to 2,000MW electricity from Sarawak will be enough to cater to the demand for about two to three years.

Peninsular Malaysia is expected to face shortage of electricity by 2015.

On another note, Che Khalib said higher coal prices and gas shortage would affect its third quarter result, which is expected to be announced on July 21.

“Obviously, it (result) will be quite weak because we were facing a lot of issues over the last quarter,” he said.

Despite the hike in electricity tariffs by 7.12 per cent, Che Khalib said 5.12 per cent was to cater to the increase in gas prices, to be given later to Petronas while the two per cent would be enough only to cater to the increase in its operating cost since 2006.

Until now, TNB has been absorbing the cost of rise in coal price, he said.

“Coal prices have gone up from US$85 per tonne to US$120 per tonne now. We will use 20 million tonnes of coal this year, so just imagine the differences,” he said.

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Come to Sabah, Aussie MPs urged

Posted on July 15, 2011. Filed under: Environmental Economics, Forestry/Wetlands |

-The Star-

KOTA KINABALU: Australian lawmakers should see for themselves the wildlife and forest conservation efforts in Malaysia, said Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

Referring to moves by green groups to push for labelling of palm oil as they claimed that orang utan were being driven out from large forests cleared for oil palm plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, Musa said:

“They may not want to believe us if we say it, but it is best for them to come and see for themselves.”

Green guide: (From left) Pairin, Musa and Sabah Forestry Department director Datuk Sam Mannan during the book launch in Kota Kinabalu Thursday.

Sime Darby is one of the world’s largest listed palm oil producers.

Musa was speaking at the launch of the book Forever Green: A Sustainable Future With Deramakot by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan here yesterday.

Located in Sabah, Deramakot is the first natural tropical rainforest in South-East Asia managed in accordance with sustainable forestry principles.

Green groups, mainly those in Australia, want law for clear labelling of palm oil rather than it being listed as a generic vegetable oil.

Musa said corporate citizens in Malaysia shared equal concerns about conservation but felt that criticisms against any country should be responsible as it would have implications on the country’s economy and the livelihood of its people.

The proposed move to name only palm oil for labelling and avoiding other edible oils could be seen as discriminatory, he said.

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RM70 Million For Phase 2 Of Sibu Flood Mitigation Project

Posted on July 14, 2011. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods |

SIBU, July 14 (Bernama) — A sum of RM70 million has been allocated under the Tenth Malaysia Plan for the second phase of the Sibu flood mitigation project.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah said an appointed consultant was currently studying its design and components.

“The tender is expected to be called this September,” he told a news conference after attending a briefing on the work progress of the first phase, here, today.

He said among its main components was raising the level of several more roads to act as water levees and the construction of two more flood-water pumping stations.

On the first phase work, Uggah said it was now 67.8 per cent done with only a 0.27 per cent delay due to problems in shifting electricity and telephone line poles belonging to Telekom Malaysia and Sarawak Energy Berhad.

He said the first phase was expected to be completed as scheduled in early February next year.

On plans to dredge Rajang River at its most critical bottlenecks because of sendimentation, he said the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID) was still studying the matter.

“The DID is going to implement the first plan costing RM2 million at Pulau Kerto and it is still coming up with the design.

“It has appointed a consortium comprising Dwimula Bina Sdn Bhd, Hock Seng Lee Bhd and Pembinaan Nasional Sdn Bhd for this,” he said, adding that the tender was expected to be called by the middle of this month.

He also said that RM3 million had been allocated to build flood-control gates and improve the drainage system in the Sungai Bidut areas to help vegetable farmers overcome the seasonal floods due to the king tide coupled with heavy rainfall in the upper reaches of Rajang River.

“All these indicate that the Barisan Nasional government is committed to solving or at least minimising the flood problems faced by the people.

“We are doing what we can according to our capacity and not because we are motivated by any state or general election,” he said.

— BERNAMA

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Lynas awards engineering contract for Malaysia rare earths plant

Posted on July 13, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

PERTH (miningweekly.com) − Rare earths developer Lynas is moving ahead with plans to develop its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), in Malaysia, and has awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning assistance contract for the second phase of the expansion.

Thailiand-based Toyo-Thai was awarded a fixed lump sum of between $180-million and $210-million.

Subject to the receipt of all relevant approvals, phase-two construction would be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012. This phase would increase the plant’s capacity to 22 000 t/y of rare-earth ores.

The Malaysian government recently imposed a number of recommendations on the LAMP to ally fears over health and radioactive concerns at the plant.

Among the recommendations made by an independent panel was that the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board had to devise a long-term waste management plan for the project, and for Lynas to submit an end-of-life decommissioning plan for the plant.

Lynas said that the scheduled impact of meeting the Malaysian government’s requirements would likely result in the commissioning of the LAMP being pushed back to the end of this year, with full production capacity of phase one of LAMP to be achieved at the start of 2012.

Phase one of the Lynas rare earths project would produce 11 000 t/y of ore, which would be doubled in phase two to 22 000 t/y of ore, by 2013.

The phase-two expansion timeline would not be impacted by the additional recommendations.

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INTERVIEW-Malaysia trade min: EU must clarify biofuel rules

Posted on July 12, 2011. Filed under: Forestry/Wetlands |

–Reuters–

* Malaysia says EU lacks transparency in rules for biofuels

* Malaysia does not want labour or green rules in trade pact

* Malaysian banks want more time before global competition

 

By Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck

BRUSSELS, July 12 (Reuters) – Europe must be more transparent about how it measures the environmental impact of biofuels before thinking of penalising palm oil exporters, a senior Malaysian minister said.

Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the EU was revealing too little about its plans to limit imports of biofuels that it deems to be doing more harm than good to the environment.

“There has got to be transparency in the process,” Mohamed told Reuters in an interview ahead of talks between EU and Malaysian negotiators. Discussions began in Malaysia on Tuesday for a free trade deal, which the EU says must include strict environmental standards.

“As one of the biggest producers of palm oil we are watching this very closely to make sure our interests are not adversely affected. We don’t know exactly how these things are being calculated,” he added.

EU officials will decide this year whether to restrict imports of biofuels produced on former forest or farmland, even as the bloc debates the use of such fuels to cut emissions, battle climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Palm oil is one of Malaysia’s main exports, making up 5 percent of its total exports to Europe last year for use in food and for conversion into biodiesel. But it is often cited as being grown on peatland whose conversion into plantations creates additional emissions.

“It is important for the EU to understand the position of developing countries,” Mohamed said.

Malaysia disputes EU research that deems its biofuel production unsustainable.

NO SOCIAL CLAUSES

While early talks for a trade deal have been “smooth sailing”, there will be obstacles ahead, Mohamed said.

A deal, which the EU and Malaysia hope to conclude next year, should not include environmental or social targets, he said.

“We will never agree that trade in goods should be linked to sustainability and labour standards, that remains our position. They are separate issues,” he said.

European negotiators have run into fierce opposition to attempts to include such provisions in trade deals currently under discussion. India, with which Europe hopes to reach agreement this year, has also said it will not accept such clauses, which raise production costs.

When talks with Malaysia began last October, the European Commission, which negotiates trade deals on behalf of the bloc’s 27 member states, said: “Trade can no longer take place in isolation from the wider objective of sustainable development.”

The EU is Malaysia’s biggest source of foreign direct investment and the Asian country hopes a deal will further boost investment in its manufacturing. A free trade deal would boost Malaysia’s GDP by 8 percent by 2020, according to EU figures.

The European Union in turn wants access to Malaysian procurement deals and its fast-growing financial sector, where foreign ownership is currently limited to 20 percent. Foreign ownership in other sectors is limited to 30 percent — another rule the EU would like eased.

“Foreign banks want more opening up, and we are open to that, but it’s got to be done in stages,” Mohamed said.

Malaysia’s top two lenders, Maybank and CIMB , are expanding across Southeast Asia, but they are not yet ready to compete on the global stage, he said.

“We want to make sure they are in a position to further expand their capabilities and withstand competition. They are strong, but they need a bit more time.”

A deal would allow Europe to tap another of the region’s fast-growing economies. A pact with South Korea was launched last month, and talks are under way for deals with India, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

The EU had hoped for a single regional agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but postponed that in 2009 in favour of simpler individual bilateral agreements.

(Reporting by Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck; Editing by Rex Merrifield and Tim Pearce)

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