KOTA KINABALU, Aug 5 — Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant is set to be operational by June 2018 in Tawau, Putrajaya announced today.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that the renewable energy power plant, which will be located in Apas Kiri in the Sabah east coast district, is set to export some 30 megawatt of power to the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd grid under the Feed-In-Tariff scheme by then.
The geothermal plant, developed by Tawau Green Technology Sdn Bhd, will use energy generated from an active geothermal system centred around dead volcano Mount Maria in Apas Kiri, Tawau, where drilling has reached a depth of 1,449 metres.
“As of today, two geothermal well pads are completed, and the third well pad is under construction. The geothermal power plant is scheduled to achieve commercial operation by June 2018.
“Once operational, Malaysia will rank 16th in the world in geothermal energy generation,” said Ongkili in his speech during a briefing session for the plant here today.
He said that the continuous growth of renewable energy in Sabah has the potential to enhance electricity supply in the state and enable it to work towards its pledge to reduce carbon emission by 45 per cent by 2030 made during COP21, or the United Nations Climate Change Conference last year.
“Geothermal power has the potential to contribute to the energy balancing market and this will be important when variable renewable energy like solar and wind increases in the energy mix,” he said.
The plant in Tawau is estimated to cost some RM600 million total investment with an initial grant of RM35 million from the federal government.
Power from the plant will be sold to SESB via 132KV interconnections to the grid under a 21-year renewable energy power purchase agreement. The plant is also expected to offset some 200,000 tonnes of CO² emissions annually.
By the end of 2020, the 11th Malaysia Plan estimates that renewable energy will reach a 2,080 mw capacity of 7.8 per cent of total energy generation in Peninsula Malaysia and Sabah.
As of June 2016, the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) has approved a total of 9,570 FiT applications to generate a total 1,308mw.