Danish Govt keen on biofuel projects in Sabah : Ambassador
The Danish Ambassador to Malaysia, Borge Petersen has described the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) Blueprint as an impressive initiative that addresses many areas of concern in the State, including environment. Petersen made the remark after he attended a briefing on the SDC given by IDS Executive Director Datuk Dr Mohd Yaakub Haji Johari at the IDS Conference Room here recently. The Ambassador was pleased to note that environmental conservation is one of the three key principles of the SDC and remarked that it augurs well for the sustainable development of Sabah for future generations. He was also pleased to know that the State Government has been collaborating with philanthropists, the corporate sector and NGOs to provide technical expertise, technologies and funding vital for protecting and conserving Sabah’s natural resources. He said Denmark is interested in supporting clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in Sabah. The CDM is one of the systems introduced in the Kyoto Protocol to assist countries in achieving their greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reduction targets. The Kyoto Protocol, under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, is an international agreement to reduce the emission of GHG binding industrialised countries to specific reduction targets. The Kyoto Protocol came into force in February 2005. “We are interested in supporting projects that turn biomass, particularly oil palm waste, such as empty fruit bunches (EFB) into biofuel,” be said, adding projects that utilise enzymes to transform biomass into biofuel. Petersen said that the Danish Government not only buys certified emission reductions (CER5) from owners of CDM projects but also assists companies in developing CDM projects. CDM allows emission reduction projects that contribute to the sustainable development objectives of the host country to capitalise on the emission reduction through the sale of CERs from the project. Projects that have been recognised as CDM under the Kyoto Protocol will qualify for CERs. In the case of the CDM project supported by the Danish government, the project owner can sell back the obtained CERs to the Government of Denmark. “We will be talking to palm oil millers in Sabah about CDM projects and we plan to sign agreements with CDM project proponents,” he said. Petersen disclosed that Danish Government had already supported the development of a number of successful CDM projects in Malaysia since the establishment of the Danish CDM Project Development Facility (PDF) in 2003. They included the Lumut Biomass Energy Plant and Jendarata Steam and Power Plant in Peninsular Malaysia. In Sabah, the Ambassador noted that the Sandakan Edible Oils (SEO) Sdn. Bhd. Biomass Steam and Power Plant uses biomass boiler manufactured by ENCO Systems, a Malaysian company based on a design developed by a Danish company, B&W Volund. Petersen said other potential CDM projects include those involving the utilization of wood residue, solid waste management and landfill gas. Landfill is a potential energy resource. Garbage decomposing in landfills creates landfill gas. This gas consists of methane, which can be used as fuel for industrial heating or converted into electrical power. Methane is among the greenhouses gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol. Although the Danish government will phase out funding for Malaysia by 2O1O Mr Petersen said it is not leaving Sabah yet. He pointed out that the Danish government has supported several environmental projects in Sabah by way of funding and transfer of environmental technology and know-how since 1 996 through the Danish Co-operation for Environment and Development (DANCED). The projects included the Sabah Biodiversity Conservation, Maliau Basin Management Plan, Integrated Coastal Zone Management and a peat swamp forest project with support from Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA), the ‘successor’ to DANCED. Petersen said that with the implementation of SDC, he expected more Danish companies to come and invest in Sabah. Earlier in his briefing to the Danish Ambassador, Dr Mohd Yaakub gave an overview of the SDC goals, implementation phases, key principles and sectoral focus. Dr Mohd Yaakub ended his presentation by highlighting the SDC initiatives on protecting and conserving the environment. They included key environmental issues and challenges, strategies to enhance the conservation and protection of the environment in Sabah, and main programmes and ongoing projects that contribute towards the preservation of Sabah’s environment for future generations.