BANGI, March 11 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and theMalaysia Energy Centre have joined hands to increase the public'sawareness of renewable energy as a fuel source.
In May 2001, the government, through the Ministry of Energy,Communications and Multimedia launched the small renewable energy powerprogramme (SREP) which applies to all sources of energy including biomass,biogas, municipal waste, solar, mini hydro and wind.
The secretary-general of Primary Industries Ministry Datuk Dr AbdullahMohd Tahir said the SREP programme was aimed at encouraging theexploitation of renewable energy source as the fifth fuel resource underthe country's fuel diversification policy.
"Due to the abundant availability of oil palm biomass, the oil palmindustry is the logical choice to spearhead the SREP programme," he toldnewsmen after officiating the "Inaugural Roadshow on the SREP Programmefor the Oil Palm Industry."
It is also in tandem with the industry's effort for zero waste in the oilpalm industry, he said.
He said in 2001, besides producing 11.8 million tonnes of crude palm oil(CPO), the 360 palm oil mills in the country also produced 14 milliontonnes of biomass waste, out of which 8.5 million was in the form of freshfruit bunches (FFB) and 4.3 million fibre and shell.
However, only a small percentage of these products was used to producerenewable energy and a large quantity of them was either dumped in themill compound or thrown away.
Meanwhile, MPOB's director general Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron said that theinaugural road show was specially tailored to encourage the industry tocome forward and grab the opportunity for power production.
He said if a mill has the capability to produce and supply 5 megawattpower to the grid for 10 hours a day, when translated into money at therate of 16 sen per unit or RM8,000 per day, the total works out to aboutRM2.5 million a year.
"Probably this is sufficient to cover the entire cost of production,resulting in a reduced manufacturing cost," he said.
Yusof added that once the renewable energy production becomes integratedwith milling operations in all mills, the question of sustainability ofoil palm industry will not arise unless palm oil prices take anunrealistic dip beyond what the industry has seen till now.
The roadshow will take place in Kuantan, Pahang (April 30), Johor Bahru,Johor (May 28) and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (August 19-20).