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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        1  March 2011

Biomass power for Malaysia

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Felda Global Group and Tenaga Nasional Bhd have formed a 60:40 joint-venture company, FTJ Bio Power Sdn Bhd to invest RM120mil (US$39.3 million) to set up a plant that will generate electricity using purely oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB).

The construction of the plant is scheduled to commence soon on a 4.2ha site in Jengka 9, Pahang and be fully completed in December 2012. The plant will be able to generate 12.5 million watts of electricity.

“The plant will utilise EFB accumulated in the process of producing crude palm oil from seven of the eight mills owned by the Felda Global Group in the Jengka area. These total 350,000 tonnes a year,” said Felda in a statement yesterday.

In the same statement, Felda Global Group president Datuk Sabri Ahmad said that the Malaysian palm oil industry generated 140 million tonnes of biomass every year from palm oil production, of which EFB comprised 20 million tonnes.

“Felda, as the country's largest oil palm operator, produces three million tonnes of EFB. There is a tremendous opportunity to derive value from these oil palm waste products and harness them into energy,” he said.

The Jengka 9 biomass plant is Felda's second plant that uses only EFB to generate electricity. The first, a 7.5 million watt plant, was built in 2004 and was also Malaysia's first “green” electricity power plant.

“The Felda Global Group is pursuing several projects to fully utilise EFB produced by its mills. Some 70 other projects are in progress and in the pipeline, including composting, pellet production and combined heat and power projects.

“By 2013, EFB produced by all 71 mills in the Felda Global Group will be fully consumed,” it said.

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