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NEWS UPDATES 9 June 2010

Brunei Plans energy from waste

THE Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) is looking to do a feasibility study, funded by the Spanish government, on turning waste into energy through incineration.

This study will follow the creation of a modern waste management facility at Sungai Paku which Dato Paduka Timothy Ong, the board's acting chairman, announced yesterday.

"We think it's something we should look at because there's something very appealing about producing energy from rubbish," Dato Ong said during a session with local media yesterday. He said the BEDB understands it might not be feasible with Brunei being a small country of 400,000 people, and that there might not be sufficient waste to turn into energy.

"In some countries, where there is a lot of rubbish, there are incinerators for burning off the waste and generating electricity through that. We think that at the moment, there is not enough waste in Brunei to generate that electricity. Even though Bruneians produce a lot of rubbish, the fact remains that there are only so many people and so much waste," he said.

BEDB will nonetheless carry on with the study and are looking at it with the aim of creating it through a public private partnership (PPP).

The board is also particularly interested in PPP to veer away from the current model of Brunei's government building and paying for all infrastructure. Dato Ong, as he has mentioned previously, said they would like to gradually move away from this and into attracting investments from the private sector to finance infrastructure in the Sultanate.

"We haven't done it yet, but we intend to do it as the next stage of this (waste management) project," he said, adding that the best way to determine its feasibility is through a study.

Dato Ong said that the Spanish government is funding this study at no cost for the Brunei government as like most developed governments, they have funds for promoting development and promoting the possibility of business opportunities for Spanish companies.

"They have agreed to fund this study for us. If the study indicates that this is something that can be done, we will deal with it at that time," he added. A statement from the board confirmed that this study will take 10 months and it covers a feasibility study to different waste-to-energy technologies, a hazardous waste management plan and the analysis of waste collection in Brunei.


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