Archive for March, 2012

Pengerang folks made aware of RAPID consequences

Posted on March 31, 2012. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods |

http://cj.my/post/41341/pengerang-folks-made-aware-of-rapid-consequences/

Chua Jui Meng (Johor PKR Chairperson), Hassan Karim (Johor PKR Deputy Chairman, Steven Chong and Jimmy Puah, a lawyer by profession, gathered at Pengerang, Johor for a dialogue with the residents recently.

Jimmy Puah explained the Land Acquision Act 153, and guided the landowners on the finer details of the act.

He said that by now Borang A is being exhibited at the Land Office. With Borang B the Land Office officers will come over to measure their lands.

Later Borang C, Borang D and then finally the landowners will be served with the Borang E.

He said if the landowners are not happy with the compensation figure they can contest their cases at the Johor Bahru high court.

Jimmy Puah stressed that with the Refinery and Petroleum Integrated Development (RAPID) project, in the near future their sea will no longer be blue and their sky will be black.

 

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Is RAPID an escalating problem?

Posted on March 23, 2012. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods |

Another Lynas-Like project in the making in Pengerang, Johor?(Part 1)

Another Lynas-Like project in the making in Pengerang, Johor?(Part 2)

A briefing session to create public awareness on the adverse impact of the RAPID (Refinery and Petrolchemical Integrated Development) project was held in Pengerang,  a small fishing village situated at the south eastern part of Johor, here, recently.

The public session was organised by Johor Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

PKR Johor State Deputy Chairman, Hassan Karim, a lawyer by profession, started off in explaining Article 13 of the federal constitution which guarantees the rights of Malaysians to own properties (house, car and land) which cannot be ‘confiscated’ at will by the government except through proper legal means.

Then he went on to elaborate Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act 1960 which allows the government to acquire land needed for development specifically for public interest.

He added, even if the government invoke the said Act, the government will need to fulfill and comply strictly with the procedures as stipulated in the Land Acquisition Act 1960.

However, Hassan reiterated and said, the affected parties particularly land owners can have the legal recourse to challenge the forced acquisition in court if there is evident to proof that the forced land acquisition exercise is mala-fadie.

“The people are not against development but it should not be at the large expense of the people”, he said.

Hassan alleged that several UMNO cronies will benefit substantially from the RAPID project and he went on to named the cronies which include Kencana Petroleum Bhd, Dialog Group Berhad, Sapura Crest Petroleum Bhd and Tebrau Teguh Bhd.

He cited an example where Tebrau Teguh Bhd has been awarded a RM500 million negotiated contract to relocate the affected residents to distant location named Punggai.

Footnotes:

The Rapid (Refinery And Petrochemical Integrated Development) project is aimed at building something “larger than Kertih”, and will eventually include multinational oil and gas companies as joint-venture partners.

The integrated development will include oil refining and petrochemical activities, as well as  a gas power plant and other “supportive industries” said sources.

The waters in Pengerang was found ideal, because it can reach depths of more than 20m, a requirement for very large crude carriers (VLCC) and ultra large crude carriers.

The terminal will be a tankage facility for handling, storing, blending and distribution of crude oils and petroleum products with marine facilities capable of handling VLCCs.

Last November, the Government said Petronas would play a major role in the development of Johor’s south-east areas of Teluk Ramunia and Pengerang into an O&G hub in the region.

Pakatan Rakyat had a dialogue with the residents of Pengerang over the RM60.6 billion Refinery and Petroleum Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Johor.

The project involves 22,500 acres of land area to be acquired by the government.

That includes acquiring 18 burial sites (11 Muslim burial sites and 7 non Muslim), 11 surau, 6 mosques, 3 temples, 3 Chinese medium schools, 5 national schools and 5 Islamic religious schools besides the affected dwelling places of the residents.

The refinery is expected to operate by the end of 2016.  It has the capacity to process 300,000 barrels of crude oil a day, to produce into petroleum products such as petrol, jet fuel and diesel.

National petroleum company, PETRONAS, a GLC, will be looking for strategic partners to participate in this bold venture.

According to Hassan Karim (PKR Deputy Chief), contracting companies like Dialog Group Bhd, Kencana Petroleum and KNM Group Bhd, who enjoyed strong ties with UMNO, will benefit significantly from the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the proposed RAPID project.

Datuk Chua Jui Meng, Johor PKR Chief, went to great length to emphasize the environmental and health impact on local residents.

The mission tons of sulphur dioxide and other poisonous gas into the air daily will cause acid rain pollution on the sea and land.

Prolong inhalation of polluted air causes nose, colon cancer and leukemia, as evidenced by 26 refinery personnel suffering from one of cancerous diseases in a refinery in Singapore.  These personnel had worked in the refinery plant for 15 years and 20 have since died of cancer.

http://cj.my/post/24398/another-lynas-like-project-in-the-making-in-pengerang-johor/

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PAS, PKR say panel a ‘waste of time’ if powerless over Lynas

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — PAS and PKR threatened to boycott the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on the controversial Lynas Corp rare earths refinery if it is not given the power to decide the fate of the RM2.3 billion project.

Their Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner DAP had earlier said it would abstain from the PSC, calling it a “sham” by the Najib administration to legitimise the Australian miner’s plant.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak had irked the project’s detractors when he said on Saturday the panel’s purpose was not to decide on the fate of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan but was part of Putrajaya’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand.

PAS central committee members Khalid Samad and Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) told Parliament their party would not join the PSC unless the decision on the plant, that has raised fears of radiation pollution, is tied to the committee’s findings.

“Otherwise it is pulling wool over the public’s eyes and white-washing an already finished project,” Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly told The Malaysian Insider.

PKR vice president Fuziah Salleh said that while she would not yet give up on the panel “as it is a chance for the people of Kuantan to air their views,” Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers’ staunch defence of the project in Parliament today pointed to the likelihood the PSC “would be a waste of time.”

“What is the point if it is not to find out if the plant is safe? The panel must be given the mandate to decide on the fate of the plant,” she told reporters, saying that she would abide by the decision of her party.

The Kuantan MP has led opposition against the project that has raised fears of radiation pollution in her constituency.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said this morning the tenure of the PSC can be extended beyond its current three-month span to “complete and table a report containing recommendations to the Dewan Rakyat to be agreed on.”

The Cabinet agreed last week for form a bipartisan PSC to look into the Lynas controversy with nine members, four BN lawmakers, three PR MPs, one independent and Umno minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin as chairman.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the rare earths plant that is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics of the refinery want Putrajaya to direct the nation’s nuclear regulator to reverse its decision to approve Lynas’ temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let the Australian miner embark on a two-year trial run.

They allege that Lynas has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.

The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earths project over safety fears, but Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.

Lynas maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant — which will be the largest rare earths refinery in the world upon completion — will not be hazardous and can be recycled for commercial applications.

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Lynas licence ‘illegal’ without EIA, says lawyer in AELB suit

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-
By Yow Hong Chieh
March 20, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The High Court here heard today that there is no need to appeal against the nuclear regulator’s approval of Lynas’ provisional licence as the decision was fundamentally illegal.

Lawyer K. Shanmuga, representing 10 Pahang residents who have challenged the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) decision, said this was because an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study had not been prepared prior to the approval.

The need for a detailed EIA before such an approval was given to the Australian miner’s rare earths plant is clearly stated in the Environmental Quality Act 1974, a fact confirmed by the Department of Environment (DoE) on June 20, 2011, he said.

“There’s no dispute Lynas does not have a detailed EIA so we are saying the entire approval is illegal and therefore you don’t need to appeal.

“You can come for judicial appeal and the court must quash the approval,” he told reporters after making his submission to judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf in chambers.

The Pahang residents filed a suit against the AELB and two others on February 17 alleging that the radiation watchdog had issued Lynas Corp a temporary operating licence (TOL) for its RM2.5 billion plant in return for a slice of the firm’s revenue.

All 10 residents live within 3km to 18km of the controversial plant in Gebeng, near Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.

The suit seeks a court order to cancel the AELB’s approval of the TOL on January 30.

Also named were the DoE’s director-general of environmental quality and Lynas’ local subsidiary Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers had earlier raised a preliminary objection on the grounds that the residents should first exhaust other avenues of recourse, including appealing to the science, innovation and technology minister.

The ministry, led by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, overseas AELB’s operations.

The judge fixed the next open court hearing for April 4.

She also directed AELB to file an affidavit explaining what Lynas will be allowed to do under the TOL as information on the provisional licence could only be gleaned from press statements and the media at this point.

Earlier this month, Lynas said it will fire up its refinery by the second quarter of the year.

The Sydney-based miner is looking to break China’s 90 per cent chokehold on the supply of rare earth metals needed to manufacture high-tech products such as smartphones, energy-efficient light bulbs and hybrid cars.

Lynas expects to generate some RM8 billion annually from its operations here.

The government last week announced it would form a nine-man Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the Lynas issue, which would hear “scientific views based on fact” from all parties.

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Lynas panel gets Parliament nod amid opposition furore

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

The Malaysian Insider–

Parliament voted to approve the panel’s formation after a short but heated debate. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Dewan Rakyat today approved the formation of a select committee on the Lynas issue, which the opposition has described as “yet another public relations exercise” by Putrajaya.

The motion, tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, received more ayes than nays after a short but heated debate over the true objectives and scope of the panel.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs questioned the point of the select committee given that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had already said the government will not be bound by the panel’s decision.

Opposition lawmakers, led by Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, charged that the panel was a “gimmick” meant to fool the public into thinking their views counted despite the government having already decided on the matter.

Najib had said last week that the select committee would not decide the fate of Lynas Corp’s rare earth plant in Kuantan, which has stoked fears of radiation pollution.

Nazri said discussing the Lynas issue in Parliament would not be sub judice.

Nazri answered, however, that the prime minister had only stated that Putrajaya may not choose to abide by the panel’s decision to allay any suspicion that the select committee would not be neutral and independent.

“We have to show that the parliamentary select committee has the right to make its decision…,” he explained.

“It comes back to the issue of neutrality. That’s why the prime minister said we won’t be bound. If he had said yes, then there would be no need for the PSC and we would just decide if we should carry on (with the project) or not.”

The de facto law minister stressed that there was no mention of “whitewashing” issues raised by critics in the motion he had tabled and urged opposition MPs to refer to the text.

“Where does it say in the proposal I’ve tabled? Does it say the PSC is intended to refute the twisted facts that have been presented?” he said.

 

Nazri also denied discussion of the Lynas issue in Parliament was sub judice, after Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff noted that the House had disallowed debate on the government’s many suits against former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli for the same reason.

Ten Pahang residents living close to the plant are challenging the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) decision to give Lynas approval for a temporary operation licence (TOL).

“If any party feels what we’re doing is sub judice because the TOL case is ongoing… they can make an application to the courts,” Nazri said.

He then urged PR to vote in favour of the select committee since opposition MPs had many questions about Lynas that could only be answered by the panel.

Shortly after, the debate descended into chaos despite the best efforts of Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee to keep order, with several opposition lawmakers trying to speak at once while MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) taunted them to “leave if you don’t like it”.

Ronald then called for the vote, following which about 10 opposition MPs left the hall to speak to the press waiting in the Parliament lobby. They returned shortly after.

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Eco fines net Selangor RM1.1m

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Laws and Regulations |

-BERNAMA-

SHAH ALAM, March 20 — Selangor pocketed RM1.12 million in fines from 194 prosecutions of environmental offences last year, state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong was reported as saying by Bernama Online today.

Wong, who holds the state tourism, consumer affairs and environment portfolio, revealed that of the cases prosecuted, 118 were for air pollution, 28 pertained to water pollution, while open burning and scheduled waste disposals contributed 13 and seven incidents, respectively.

But she added not all the cases were pursued to the end.

“Several cases could not proceed due to lack of evidence and incomplete chemical analysis,” Wong said in today’s session of the state assembly.

She also revealed that a number of cases had been summarily dismissed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, for which she said no reasons were given.

“In addition, there were also cases where the offences and offenders were clear but it took four to five years to be brought to court,” Wong said.

Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad had earlier asked Wong for a list of environmental cases in the state that were being prosecuted.

 

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Lynas haunted by ghosts of Fukushima and Bukit Merah, says CEO

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

By Clara Chooi
March 20, 2012

The LAMP was fundamentally different from the ARE refinery and the Fukushima nuclear plant, said Curtis. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Lynas Corporation has insisted that “misinformation” and lingering fears from past radiation disasters were the main catalysts of the opposition against its RM2.5 billion rare earth refinery in Gebeng, Kuantan.But chief executive Nick Curtis lamented to a group of Chinese and alternative media representatives last night that it was unfair to punish the company for incidents that “have nothing to do with us”.

He pointed out that the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) is not a nuclear power station as is the case with the Fukushima Daaichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, which suffered a severe nuclear meltdown following last year’s tsunami and released harmful levels of radioactive materials.

He stressed that LAMP’s practices and materials are also vastly different from those of Mitsubishi Chemical’s Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah, Ipoh, which was shut down two decades ago and has been linked to eight cases of leukaemia due to radioactive exposure, seven of which were fatal.

He said during the gruelling two-hour dinner discussion that if Kuantan residents were to keep an open mind towards the facts of the issue, they would be able to see that the plant poses no health or environmental risk.

His assistant, Wee Tiat Eng, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd senior manager (engineering services), even performed a live demonstration by reading the radiation levels of the criticised the rare earth’s “water leach purification” (WLP) residue, which is said to be dangerous, and comparing it with a banana.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, who attended the function with several other ministers, also stepped in to say that a person undergoing an X-ray exposes himself to 500 times the radiation found in the rare earth residue.

But Curtis’ assurances appeared to reach a doubtful audience and the embattled CEO was forced to repeatedly field questions over whether the Australian mining firm saw Malaysia as a dumping ground for its radioactive waste; whether Lynas would accept a decision to shut down its plant; and what its “plan B” was in the event of a Fukushima-like disaster.

“You bring up Japan, again. One slight frustration that we have here is this — this (LAMP) is not a nuclear power station.

“The risk you are talking about is part of the risk of tsunami, or an event that causes the distribution of this (radioactive) material.

“And that is part of what we engineer against,” Curtis said, again making his case for the safety of LAMP.

“The engineering of the site is done very specifically with 100-year flood events and various other engineering standards to ensure that if there were catastrophic events, it would be safe,” he assured attendees.

“Secondly, our material is not the same as Japan’s (Fukushima plant). Nothing like it, we have nothing to do with it.

“People have ignored the facts. The word radioactivity has been misused in this context [because] of Fukushima. The emotions were high. But Fukushima has nothing to do with us.”

When pointed to the lingering fears of Malaysians over the disaster in the ARE plant, Curtis nodded in acknowledgement but repeated that the incident was not tied to Lynas.

He highlighted that, at the time, Malaysian laws were more lax than today, adding that the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had not even existed at the time.

“I accept that there are lingering fears. We underestimated the penetration within the Malaysian community of a story that happened well over 20 years ago. And I regret and I’m sorry for that and I do understand the pain,” he said.

“But again, I have to turn to the facts: Rare earths are not a bad product, they are a good product.

“They enable our lives to go forward; they are a product that enables cleaner society, healthier society. They are good products. They can be done cleanly and safely.

“I was not at Bukit Merah. Bukit Merah should not have happened. So you cannot compare us with Bukit Merah. The nature of material was fundamentally different,” he said.

Lynas Corp is expected to fire up operations of its refinery in Gebeng by year-end but widespread opposition from local residents could delay the mining firm’s plans.

Earlier today, Parliament approved the formation of a select committee that has been tasked to look into the various aspects of the plant.

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Australia did not reject Lynas waste, says CEO

Posted on March 20, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-The Malaysian Insider-

By Clara Chooi
March 20, 2012

Curtis said Australia did not expressly prohibit the return of Lynas’s rare earth residue to the country. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Lynas Corp has denied reports that the Western Australian government had refused to accept the radioactive waste residues from the miner’s RM2.5 billion rare earth plant in Malaysia.The Australian mining firm, currently under tremendous pressure to prove its refinery would pose no danger to Malaysians, told local media personnel at a dinner last night that the Australian government was merely reacting according to common conditions that any country would have with regards to such materials.

But, Lynas Corp chief executive Nick Curtis stressed, this did not mean authorities had rejected the proposal outright.

“No. That is not true (that the Australian government rejected the waste) … No country in the world allows you to take out the material, then send it back.

“What they say is, ‘we’ll have a look at what you want to do but you do not have automatic permission to do that (send the waste back)’,” he told a special dinner event with the heads of Chinese and alternative media organisations at the Seri Pacific Hotel last night.

The dinner, organised by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, is believed to be part of Putrajaya’s attempt to explain the Lynas issue to critics of the plant, who have resolutely insist that its residues would pose harmful levels of radiation to local folk.

Earlier today, the Dewan Rakyat approved the formation of a three-month parliamentary select committee (PSC), tasked to engage with all stakeholders in the controversial multibillion ringgit project that is expected to fire up its operations by year-end.

But despite Curtis’ claim that the Australian government had not rejected Lynas’s waste material, the CEO could not offer a guarantee that the company would return the residues back to its home country.

“We are not sure whether we want to send it back yet… we will investigate all alternatives (on waste disposal) including that (returning it to Australia) but it is not necessarily the best alternative either for the material or for us,” he said.

Grilled for over two hours during the dinner by media personalities who appeared unconvinced by Curtis’ repeated assurances regarding Lynas, the CEO could only offer his company’s pledge to adhere to the conditions attached to the two-year temporary operating licence (TOL) from Malaysia’s energy regulator, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

Among the most significant condition that Curtis highlighted was Lynas’s signed undertaking that it would submit a detailed plan for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) for waste, within 10 months of receiving the TOL.

“We have said, ‘Okay, fine, we are happy to comply’. No problem to determine a plant (for disposal)… it is not an expensive plan. It will take time but it is manageable,” he said.

“We have obligations to our licence with the AELB to study the issue and come up with a definitive plan for the disposal facility.”

But Curtis said that setting up the waste facility at such an early stage was an “unusual” practice as, in most cases, the rehabilitation of a site would only be carried out at the tail end of the refinery’s lifespan.

“Today, we are asked to deal with the possible rehabilitation of the site, which will still be active in 40 to 50 years.

“But that’s okay; if that’s what’s required, we will do that, but it is unusual in industrial terms,” he said.

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DAP to stay out of Lynas PSC

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: Environmental Policy |

The Malaysian Insider–

By Clara Chooi

March 19, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — The DAP will abstain from participating in the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on the Lynas issue, its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today, calling the panel a “sham”.

He charged that the PSC, expected to be proposed in Parliament tomorrow, was the Najib administration’s way of legitimising the controversial Lynas Corporation plant, which activists claim would be an environmental hazard.

“DAP will not participate in a sham PSC which serves to deliver a ‘fait accompli’ by endorsing the Lynas plant and forcing public acceptance without any due regard for safety, environmental and health concerns,” Lim (picture) said in a media statement here.

The Cabinet agreed last week for form a bipartisan PSC to look into the Lynas controversy but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak irked the project’s detractors when he said on Saturday the panel’s purpose was not to decide on the fate of the plant in Gebeng, Kuantan.

Instead, Najib had said the PSC was part of Putrajaya’s engagement process to ensure the public understood the issues at hand.

“It has to do with the process of engagement with the people and for them (the select committee) to look at all aspects of the project, especially the safety factor and any possible threats to health,” he told reporters in Ipoh.

Today, Lim said this implied the panel’s conclusion was already predetermined.

“In other words, this whole exercise is merely to help the project gain acceptance and to help the BN government convince Malaysians that there is no threat from the Lynas rare earth plant and its potentially hazardous radioactive waste,” Lim said.

Given that the PSC is unlikely to decide the fate of the Lynas plant, Lim said it would be a “complete waste of time” for DAP to participate in it.

Lim also urged other Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties to join DAP in abstaining from joining the PSC.

“We should not be used as tools in the BN’s bid to fool the people and to justify the setting up of the Lynas rare earth plant,” he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said on Saturday that the bipartisan panel would comprise nine members — four BN lawmakers, three PR MPs, one independent and with Umno minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin as chairman.

He said the panel would be tasked with getting feedback from stakeholders such as authorities and citizens groups, and deliver its findings within three months.

Thousands of anti-Lynas protestors attended an opposition-backed rally by Himpunan Hijau last month in the largest protest yet against the rare earth plant that is expected to fire up later this year.

Critics of the refinery want Putrajaya to direct the nation’s nuclear regulator to reverse its decision to approve Lynas’s temporary operating licence (TOL), which will let the Australian miner embark on a two-year trial run.

They allege that Lynas has not given enough assurances on how it will handle the low-level radioactive waste that will be produced at the refinery.

The government has been under pressure from groups to shut down the rare earth project over safety fears, but Putrajaya has stood its ground on the project that was first earmarked for Terengganu.

Lynas maintains that waste from the Gebeng plant — which will be the largest rare earth refinery in the world upon completion — will not be hazardous and can be recycled for commercial applications.

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Time frame set for renewable energy to impact electricity supply

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: Energy |

-The Star-

PUTRAJAYA: A three-year time frame is being set for renewable energy (RE) activities to kick off with expected higher funding and quotas.

“We are now at the stage of looking at this preliminary period in the implementation process,” Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Peter Chin told StarBiz.

“We would like to see a higher level of RE being generated in the future. But it is better to be more cautious and look at what this preliminary process is like in our implementation and the administration process by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA Malaysia). We have to learn from this preliminary phase before we proceed in a more aggressive manner.

We are looking at about three years to see how this RE is performing especially with solar energy. — Datuk Seri Peter Chin

“We are looking at about three years to see how this RE is performing especially with solar energy for which the cost of solar production is getting lower and lower.”

On the progress of the RE sector, Chin said: “We are restricted by the amount in the kitty called the RE Fund for which we can only collect 1% from each account holder of Tenaga Nasional Bhd. Therefore, the quota that is being created to implement this feed-in tariff has to be rather small.

“Because of that, it will take time for RE to really take effect in terms of the impact that it can create on the total electricity supply.

“If the fund is higher, the quota can be increased and more RE can be generated. That will be good for the country in terms of emission of carbon and the fact that RE is considered a cleaner source of energy.”

Currently, 398 applicants have received the feed-in approvals. Out of these, 71 have signed the standardised renewable energy power purchase agreements (REPPAs).

FIT payments can only be made to those developers who have signed the REPPAs and implemented their projects successfully.

Industry players suggest there should be a liability imposed on those who have not implemented their projects as money is a scarce resource.

“In fact, they should be relieved of their allocation so that others can take their place. Deadlines should be set for implementation; under the REPPAs, there may be deadlines stipulated but who is actually monitoring all this?” asked an industry player.

SEDA Malaysia acts as a one-stop centre to facilitate interested parties in all matters related to RE; it is also working with relevant training institutes to set up a centre of excellence for each RE source.

In terms of research and development, SEDA Malaysia is working on an R&D roadmap for RE.

It has also been tasked to raise awareness on RE; one main awareness programme that has been planned is a sustainable energy conference.

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