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Date
 16/10/2001
News Provider
 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
News Source
 NULL
Headline
 Siemens plans to market biomass concept here

16 October 2001 (Business Times)

SIEMENS AG intends to market the concept of biomass energy in Malaysia inthe next few years.The company’s power plant sales director Alfons Frank said the concept hasmuch potential to grow in Malaysia due to the abundance of agriculturalwaste products that can be used to generate energy.“Biomass is a very cheap and practical way to fulfil energy needs of smallto medium-sized housing areas. The concept is already in practice inEurope and we hope to market it here in a few years,” he said.He added that Siemens would need some time to conduct research tocustomise the concept of biomass energy to suit the needs and capabilitiesof the country.Frank said one typical biomass power station could produce enough energyfor up to 1,700 households. Biomass power stations have a comparativelylower output of 5MW to 10MW and are therefore more suitable for smallhousing areas, preferably those located near estates and plantations.“The proximity to estates and plantations, in this case oil palmplantations, will enable easier transportation of biomass fuels to thepower plant. The fact that fuels have to be transported to the plant — asopposed to generators running on wind, water and solar power — is onereason why biomass power plant output tends to be limited,” Frankexplained.Despite this, he said, the company was confident that the concept wouldcatch on in Malaysia as palm oil was a major commodity and oil palmbiomass, which includes palm fronds and husks, has the potential togenerate a lot of energy.Biomass energy is produced through the incineration of agricultural wastein a steam boiler. High-pressure steam is produced and expanded in a steamengine which generates mechanical energy. This energy is then convertedinto electrical power at the generator.Biomass energy is becoming an increasingly popular option to replacefossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Its advantages lie in the factthat it is ecologically safe as natural carbon dioxide is emitted to theatmosphere, as opposed to polluting carbon monoxide. The use of biomassfuel also reduces wastage and cuts down on waste processing costs.


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