Environmental Science

Banks Asked Not To Shy Away From Financing Green Tech Projects

Posted on September 23, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science |

(Bernama) — The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry hopes that financial institutions will be more supportive when evaluating loan applications for green technology projects.

Its Deputy Secretary General for Green Technology and Water, Datuk Nor Azmal Nazir, said with green technology being a new field in Malaysia, related parties have been cautious in assessing the value of such projects.

“There’s no problem actually. Banks are just being cautious as the industry is new and they take time to look at it indepth,” he told reporters after a media sneak preview for the International Green Technology and Products Exhibition & Conference (IGEM) 2010 here Thursday.

Asked about the RM1.5 billion green technology fund allocated by the government, Nor Azmal said 55 companies had so far been provided with green technology certifications since January this year.

“The value of these 55 companies have surpassed the RM1.5 billion fund,” he said.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said earlier in his speech that IGEM is a good platform for local and foreign players to showcase new business opportunities.

He said the event is in line with government’s effort to promote green technology and move towards a green economy for a high income economic model and sustainable consumption and products.

The text of his speech was read by Nor Azmal.

The inaugural IGEM 2010 will be held from Oct 14 to 17 with over 23 countries and region represented at over 500 booths.

The event is organised by the ministry and Green Purchasing Network Malaysia (GPNM).

GPNM president Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur said IGEM 2010 is expected to churn business matching value of about RM1 billion, adding that 40 per cent of the participants will be local players.

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From waste to wealth

Posted on March 8, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science, Waste |

-The Star-

A NEW technological innovation, called the Pops (Parallel Oil Palm Strand) Lumber, is creating waves all over the world as an alternative raw material for various wood-based products.

For many years now, there has been a shortage of wood from natural sources, and any harvesting of wood has to be sustainable to ensure that forests do not suffer.

Over the past seven years, Malaysian scientists have been researching the use of oil palm trunk for plywood, as every year, 10 million oil palms are chopped down as most trees have a life span of only 25 years. The felled trees are either burnt or left to rot.

“The issue with oil palm lumber has always been transportation. Oil palm has 300% more moisture, so it is heavy. Drying it was also a problem,” said Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) senior research officer Dr Wan Tarmeze Wan Ariffin.

According to FRIM Flagship Project MYScrim director Datuk Dr Marzalina Mansor, the drying of the oil palm trunk could not be rushed.

Strong: The furniture made from Pops Lumber is sturdy and customers can customise the raw material to their needs

”If we dry it too fast, it won’t be smooth. There are too many processes to look into. Veneer has to be smooth so the layering for plywood can be done with ease,” she said.

In July 2007, an idea struck the researchers at FRIM. Instead of drying the trunk into veneer, they decided to crush the wood into strands and glue them back under a certain pressure.

“The best part is that the clients can customise the wood to their requirements. They can decide on the weight of the wood, its structure and how compact it should be,” Dr Wan Tarmeze said.

Many countries have been receptive to this invention, especially at road shows and international conferences. The patented Pops Lumber recently received accolades for its ingenuity, garnering the World International Property Organisation (Wipo) Best Invention award in Geneva as well as two other awards.

Quality product: Dr Marzalina holding up a block of Pops Lumber that features carving; note that the edges have not been chipped

After the success of their patent, the researchers decided to approach agencies and organisations that might be interested in helping to finance the second part of their research — to refine Pops.

The POPScrim is a technique for crushing the material a little more than Pops Lumber, so that it would be more solid, with fewer gaps between the strands.

“We took our patent to 20 agencies under three groups — the users, the manufacturers and the financiers — but everybody wanted us to complete the research and data before they stepped in,” Dr Marzalina said.

The users were eager for the end-products comprising furniture, roof beams and interior decorations, while the manufacturers were excited about ordering stocks, but they failed to realise the team needed funding to finish its research.

The team found hope in Blue Mountain Resources Sdn Bhd, which jumped on the bandwagon on recognising the product’s potential.

“We are now looking for the right machine to speed up the process as well as a factory to make the raw material,” said Blue Mountain Resources chief executive officer Muhammad Ridzuan.

Ridzuan said his company was interested only in producing the raw material, which would be cheaper than rubber wood, adding that the new Pops would complement the existing raw materials in the industry.

According to him, there are great potential for this product and it will generate greater income for the country.

In fact, many foreign countries had asked his company to start production in their country, he said.

“But we are patriotic, and we want to ensure Malaysia gets the benefits from this. We hope the government will step in and help finance the remaining part of the project,” he added.

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Study on biomass management policy

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science |

– Bernama- THE government is studying the possibility of adopting a policy on green energy management, particularly the use of biomass waste for power generation in the country.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), has commissioned a study on the matter, with special focus on the maximum utilisation of this waste as well as the highest efficiency.

“I expect the study to be completed in two months. This will enable us to adopt a clear policy and direction, as far as green energy is concerned,” he said after launching the Palm Oil Industry Labour Issues, Performance and Sustainability Workshop in Sabah, yesterday.

Dompok said there is a need for a proper policy to ensure, among others, the steady supply of biomass for power generation, including by Independent Power Producers.

Earlier, in his speech, Dompok said the oil palm industry contributed RM49.59 billion in export revenue last year.

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BCorp eyes solar power plant but govt help crucial

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Energy, Environmental Science |

– NST-

BERJAYA Corp Bhd (3395), a diversified group with interests in property and gaming, wants to venture into the solar energy business but its plan hinges on the government.

Essentially, the government will have to agree to buy electricity produced from the sun at higher prices to make its project commercially viable.

Currently, state-owned Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) buys some electricity generated by renewable sources like hydro and biomass.

TNB pays about 21 sen per kilowatt-hour for power from a biomass plant for instance, which is more than what it pays independent power producers that use gas or coal as fuel.
“For solar, the feed-in tariff should be at least RM1.00 kW/h,” Berjaya Solar managing director Chock Eng Tah told Business Times in a telephone interview yesterday.

Berjaya Solar Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned unit of BCorp, plans to spend RM180 million to set up a 10-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Bukit Tagar, Selangor. The plant would cover 50ha or the size of 200 football fields.

It is designed to feed into the national power grid and will be the precursor to a 50MW solar power plant.

But this will only start when the government finalises feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.

“If everything goes as planned, we hope to start construction in the second half of this year and complete it next year.

“In reducing reliance on fossil fuel, Malaysia aspires to use more renewable energy. The advantage of solar is that there’s no pollutants,” he said.

Berjaya Solar will work with China-based Wuxi Erquan Solar Energy Science & Technology Co Ltd (EQ Solar) which will set up a solar panel-making plant in Johor. EQ Solar will produce mono-and poly-crystalline photovoltaic modules for the Asean market.

Chock estimates that Berjaya Solar’s 10MW power plant could power up to 3,000 homes equipped with an average of two air-conditioners. // <![CDATA[//

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Berjaya Corp plans solar power plant

Posted on February 9, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science |

– NST –

Berjaya Corp said it plans to develop Malaysia’s first large-scale solar photovoltaic power plant in central Selangor state, estimated to cost about RM180 million.

The 10-megawatt plant, to be located on a 50-hectare site, will be ready by 2011 and be able to generate power to supply electricity to 3,000 homes, it said in a statement today.

The project is a “precursor” to developing a 50-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in the future should the first plant be successful, it said in a statement today. – Bloomberg

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First green commercial building in Putrajaya by 2012

Posted on February 9, 2010. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods, Environmental Science |

-Theedgeproperty.com-

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s administrative capital of Putrajaya will have its first commercial green building in the commercial precinct of Precinct 2 by 2012.

The development on Plot 2C2 will comprise 4-storey podium buildings below a tower building of eight storeys. The buildings will be energy efficient with environmentally sustainable design. A 3-storey basement with retail outlets will face the promenade at the waterfront. The total gross floor area of the development is approximately 54,000 square meters and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd and Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd signed the construction agreement for the building on Monday Feb 8. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.

In his speech, Datuk Azlan Abd Karim, Chief Executive Officer of Putrajaya Holdings, the master developer of Putrajaya, said the Malaysian government recently announced that Putrajaya and Cyberjaya will be developed as pioneer townships in green technology.

Azlan also applauded the strong partnership with Putra Perdana Construction, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Putrajaya Perdana Berhad, in developing the city particularly in constructing the government buildings and residential developments there since 1996.

The buildings on Plot 2C2 are designed to achieve the Gold Rating under Malaysia’s Green Building Index (GBI). The GBI Non-Residential Rating tool evaluates the sustainable aspects of buildings with emphasis on energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality as these have the greatest impact in the areas of energy use and well-being of the occupants and users of the building. Gold Rating is achieved by obtaining between 76 to 85 points out of 100 calculated based on the six criteria; energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, sustainable site planning and management, material and resources, water efficiency, and innovation.

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Putrajaya, Cyberjaya to go green ASAP!

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Energy, Environmental Science |

– The Star-

PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya and Cyberjaya will be developed as pioneer townships in green technology in the “shortest time possible” to reflect the Government’s commitment towards environmentally sound and sustainable practices.

In announcing this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak the decision was made during the inaugural Green Technology Council meeting which he chaired Tuesday, adding that this was among efforts undertaken by the Government to ensure the use of renewable energy and green technology was actively pursued.

“The Government realises that countries adopting sustainable energy and green technology will be winners in the 21st century as it will be the core of economies. This is not an option but a reality that all nations must face.

“The use of renewable energy and green technology will be an important part of the Government’s agenda and it will go beyond the responsibility of the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry to further promote and propogate its use.

“It is our committment to bequeath our future generation with an environment which is pristine and healthy,” he said at the launching of the RM1.5bil Green Technology Financing scheme.

The Prime Minister said the fund was aimed at encouraging investment in green technology, green construction and innovation, adding the scheme would also encourage much-needed foreign direct-investment and would support technology transfer and capacity building for local companies.

He said as an added incentive, the Government would play its role by covering 2% of the loan’s interest rate and providing guarantee of 60% on the financing while the remaining 40% would be covered by banks.

He said that since the scheme was launched on Jan 1, 186 companies have responded to the initial soft loan offer.

“I am confident in the long-term strengths and benefits of this scheme for companies that invest in green technology as well as financial institutions that see it as a smart and strategic investment.

“This is the role of the financing scheme — to stimulate investment and the development of Malaysia’s green technology marketplace, That, in turn, will support business growth, job creation and prosperity,” he said.

Najib said Malaysia was committed to playing its role in addressing climate change issues, including setting a carbon reduction goal of 40% by 2020 while investing in green technology, adding that the investments would allow the Government to build a progressive and low carbon economy.

He said the Government has placed an emphasis on high-potential sectors of growth which include green technology, and it believed that “green jobs” and “green innovation” would be part of a dynamic and fast-growing economic landscape.

“These are ambitious plans for an ambitious nations. We must all play our roles — government and private sector alike. We need to train the next generation of entrepreneurs and scientists to invest in new businesses of the future and to chart a path for green technology and infrastructure that drives our nation forward,” he said.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said his ministry was also working on several plans and roadmaps such as the Energy Efficiency Master Plan, the Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan, and the Green Technology Action Plan.

He said these initiatives, among others, were aimed at reducing dependency on fossil fuels and increasing generating capacity from renewable sources such as biomass, hydro and solar.

“We hope that with the creation of these plans, we will be able to spur the economy by encouraging entrepreneurs to construct green buildings, hydro power plants, manufacture solar panels, wind turbines and industrial and building energy efficient equipments,” he said.

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Malaysia Committed To Adopting Renewable Energy And Green Technology – Najib

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: Energy, Environmental Science |

(Bernama) — Malaysia is committed to adopting renewable energy and green technology to become a leading nation in the 21st century, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The prime minister said the government realised that in the 21st century, renewable energy and sustainable energy as well as green technology would be the core of economic growth for all countries.

“This is not an option but a reality that all nations must face up to.

“Only those who master the application of green technology and sustainable energy will be the winner in the 21st century,” he said at the launch of the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS), here Tuesday.

Also present was Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui.

Najib also witnessed the signing of a memorandum between the Finance Ministry and the Credit Guarantee Corporation.

The prime minister said the government realised that it was not sustainable to be over-reliant and over-dependent on fossil fuels.

“During the recent conference of the parties in Copenhagen, I was pleased to join world leaders, academics and NGO leaders to consider these opportunities.

Although the outcome was rather disappointing, at least there is additional commitment by many countries in the sense that all nations believe that we must somehow put together a legally binding commitment soon after the Copenhagen summit,” he said.

Najib said the threat was real and these discussions must continue because, around the world, the effects of climate change were being seen.

“From melting polar ice caps to loss of endangered species to unprecedented numbers of natural disasters, it is all around us. We are seeing more severe, more deadly results than ever before,” he said.

Najib said the investment of RM1.5 billion for the GTFS would encourage business investment in green technology, green construction and innovation.

“The government will play its role, covering two per cent of the loan’s interest rate and providing a guarantee of 60 per cent on the financing. The remaining 40 per cent will be covered by banks,” he said.

He said that since the scheme opened on Jan 1, some 186 companies had responded to the initial soft loan offer.

“I am confident that in the long-term strengths and benefits of this scheme for companies that invest in green technology as well as financial institutions that see green technology as a smart, strategic investment,” he said.

He said the second reason for Malaysia to move forward swiftly in green technology development was because jobs, industry opportunities and economies of the future would be vastly different from those of today.

“As a government, we are putting an emphasis on high-potential sectors of growth – Islamic finance, biotech and high technology, and advanced manufacturing processes along with green technology.

“We do this not only because they are industries of the future, but also because we know Malaysia can compete and succeed in them,” he said.

The GTFS is a special financing scheme introduced by the government in the 2010 Budget to promote and support the development of green technology in Malaysia.

Earlier, Najib, who chaired the first National Green Technology Council meeting, also announced Putrajaya and Cyberjaya as pioneer townships in green technology in the country.

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Mukhriz: Still green in green technology

Posted on January 25, 2010. Filed under: Energy, Environmental Science |

-Malaysian Mirror-

SHAH ALAM – Malaysia is still in the learning process of developing green technology – the technology that directly helps in energy conservation, known also as environmental technology (abbreviated as envirotech).

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Mukhriz Mahathir said the country, however, is stepping up its research and devlopment (R&D) in the area.

mukhriz mahathir 2“We are aligning ourself with other countries, such as South Korea, in developing our green technology,” he said when opening the integrated global headquaerters, manufacturing and training facility of the A&E Group here Monday.

He added that it was easier for the private sector to find an  existing company for collaboration since Malaysia is still relatively new to the green technology.

Saving cost of corrosion up to 40%

Mukhriz said businesses should use the technology to maximise finite resources and find new ways to minimise impact on the environment.

He said the National Association of Corrosion Engineers had estimated that as much as 40% of the cost of corrosion could be saved by using appropriate technology.

“Although Malaysia is a large exporter of solar panel, we should be a major player in the renewable energy technology.

“We are also looking forward to have an R&D in wind technology,” he said, adding that the country’s universities have R&D that can be used for commercial purpose.

“Sometimes, to have a success story like A&E, we really need to invest time energy and money to have a good R &D.” Mukriz said, describing the company as an example of Malaysian ingenuity in green technology.

Orders until 2012

The A&E Group, a manufacturer of anti-corrosion coatings and systems, expects to increase revenue to RM30mil this year from RM20mil in 2009, group chief executive officer Arthur Haycox.

He said the target is achievable based on the contract orders that the company has at present.

“We have grown year-on-year from RM2mil revenue over the past four to five years to double digits now.

“The orders we have now will help boost revenue until 2012,” he told reporters after the launch.

Haycox said the company has also set a target of RM75mil in revenue over the next two years.

A&E currently has between RM200,000 and RM7mil worth of orders in the pipeline, he said.

Its RM30mil new headquarters-cum-manufacturing plant has the capability to produce six machines a week compared with two machines a month at the previous plant, Haycox said.

The new facility caters to complete value chain of activities for A&E and its client within the Asia Pacific, including customer services, sales, training via teaching academy, research centre, design, testing and manufacturing.

“We are investing in technology and spend about 30% of our annual capital expenditure in R&D,” he said.

Gaining worldwide recognition

The company’s products have gained recognition in the development of environmentally friendly anti-corrosion coatings for use both above and under water.

Its clients including Shell, BHP Bilition, Petronas, ConocoPhilips, the Dutch and US Navy, US Army Corps of Engineers and Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

A&E has a direct presence in Australia, Europe and the United States with about 85% cent of its products for exports.

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Council To Chart Malaysia’s Green Technology Agenda Jan 26

Posted on January 9, 2010. Filed under: Environmental Science |

(Bernama) — The National Green Technology Council will meet in Putrajaya on Jan 26 to chart the country’s green technology development, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin.

He said eight ministers, together with Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, would be involved in the council chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Chin said apart from himself, other members in the council were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Mansor and Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha.

“The inaugural meeting is a follow-up after the launching of the country’s Green Technology Policy by the prime minister in July,” he told a news conference here.

He said the council might also invite foreign experts to sit in the committees to be formed to strengthen the government’s efforts to develop the sector.

He said that after the meeting, Najib was expected to launch a green technology soft loan scheme — a follow up to the announcement in the 2010 Budget that the government would provide RM1.5 billion allocation to develop the sector.

Under the scheme, green energy suppliers were entitled for a loan of up to RM50 million while green energy consumers would be entitled up to RM10 million, he said.

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