First WTE incinerator to begin operation by June

The plant could be the impetus for other states to develop its own WTE incinerator, says minister


Malaysia’s first waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Ladang Tanah Merah, Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan is expected to be fully operational this June.

Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the plant could be the impetus for other states to develop its own WTE incinerator.

She said the ministry is seeking for every state to at least construct one WTE facility by 2020.

“It is really important for this plant to work well because it could be our future model or the testimony for the first WTE that will be established in the country.

“In KPKT’s policy, we want every state to have at least one WTE incinerator within two years’ time, while we are phasing out landfill.

“This is how we should work in waste management moving forward,” she told the press after visiting the under-construction plant on Saturday.

Known as SMART (solid waste modular advanced recovery and treatment) WTE, the facility is designed to convert solid waste into energy in the form of electricity based on sustainable and integrated waste management concept.

The project, developed by Cypark Resources Bhd, has a 4ha built-up area and it would be able to undertake 600 tonnes of mechanically segregated and processed municipal solid waste a day.

The facility would be able to produce between 20MW and 25MW of green energy, sufficient to power about 25,000 households within its vicinity.

The RM300 million public-private partnership project was constructed in 2016 under the build-operate-manage- transfer concept for a lease period of 25 years.

It was reported that the WTE plant was initially targeted to be completed by January last year.

However, it was delayed until the end of 2018 after the main contractor of the plant, SHK Consortium Bhd, encountered a difficult geological formation.

The latest commercial operational date was then extended to July 2019. The construction is now nearing the completion phase and would undergo the initial operation by next month.

It would include waste receiving and segregation facility, with material recovery or recycling technology, as well as Fully Anaerobic Bio-reactor System with a capacity to receive 1,000 tonnes of waste a day.

Cypark Resources is expected to generate revenue through tipping fees from maintaining the sanitary landfill site paid by the government of around RM33 for every tonne of waste received.

Additionally, the corporation would also gain from its sales of electricity to the national grid Tenaga Nasional Bhd, through 20MW biomass, 5MW biogas facilities as well as its solar farm located at the same 70ha Ladang Tanah Merah vicinity.

The Ladang Tanah Merah land was originally designated by the federal and state governments as a sanitary landfill site to cater for waste management in the west part of Negri Sembilan.

Currently, renewable energy (RE) contributes about 13% of the group’s revenue. Moving forward, the WTE incinerator is expected to boost the group’s RE segment to more than 30% of revenue.

Zuraida said the plant was built in line with the Department of Environment’s (DoE) requirement, making it one of the most environmentally friendly facilities in the world.

“I have not seen this kind of concept when I visited some WTE plants in Singapore, China and Melbourne. The modular of the plant construction is very high aligning with the DoE’s standard.

“For instance, even the chimney is tall, reaching up to 80m and it is located far from the city, whereas in other countries, it is just about 56m and operates in the town areas,” she said.

She added that the construction is also monitored by foreign experts who provide similar technology in Japan, Sweden and Germany.

According to recent report by The Malaysian Reserve, Melaka would also embark on its RM280 million WTE plant in Sungai Udang, slated for construction this year and ready for operation by 2022.