Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Energy minister: Yes to coal plants, but only if outside Sabah

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 22 — Describing coal technology as a “hot potato”, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that it would be acceptable if the plant was not built on Sabah land.

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili attending the Sabah Electrical Supply Sdn Bhd Open Day at Suria Sabah Mall, Kota Kinabalu, January 22, 2018. — Bernama pic

Ongkili said his ministry was not fully informed of a new proposal by a private firm for a RM6 billion clean coal power plant but said he deferred to the state government as the authority on the subject.

“But as a Sabahan, any capacity building on the east coast [of Sabah], if you were to consider coal energy, it must not be on our land, outside of Sabah, yes,” he said when speaking to reporters after attending the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd open day at a shopping mall here.

Ongkili said that there was currently a proposal to import power from North Kalimantan from a coal-fired plant there outside of Sabah’s boundaries.

The proposed 150-200 MW coal-fired power plant would be based in Tarakan, and power would be exported to Tawau.

Recently, Peninsula-based company Afmaco Energy Bhd announced its intention to invest RM6 billion to develop a clean fuel refinery complex in Sabah’s east coast of Tawau and said it was awaiting approval from the federal government and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd to go ahead with an environmental impact assessment.

It’s chief executive officer Ahmad Faizul Mohamed Alwi had said the project would utilise Chinese environmentally-friendly technology that uses lignite, a brown coal, and employ a zero waste system that has been in use for eight years.

The state government said it was not fully aware of the project and said it would obtain a full briefing on the proposal.

In 2011, government plans to build a coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu were dropped following objections that claimed it would degrade the environment in the area.

Source : MalayMail