Another due date for country’s 1st WTE plant

Plant to be commissioned in 4Q20 after experts from Japan and Korea run T&C procedure for 3 months

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

AFTER several delays, the country’s first waste-to-energy (WTE) incinerator facility in Negri Sembilan is expected to be commissioned by the fourth quarter of this year (4Q20).

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (picture) said currently, the project developer Cypark Resources Bhd is arranging for external experts to be flown to the plant to run the testing and commissioning (T&C) procedure. This would take around three months to complete.

Initially, the RM300 million project was set for completion by January 2018. However, it was delayed to the end of that year after the main contractor encountered a difficult geological formation.

The due date was then extended to June last year, but was again delayed to December 2019 due to technical issues with the road access at the landfill area.

“Now, they have to bring technology experts from Japan and Korea to run the T&C procedure and test the operation for three months.

“They are arranging this so it could be completed by the end of this year,” Zuraida told the media after handing over the certificate of appointments to the Village Security and Development Committees (Federal) (JPKKP) chairmen for New Village in Putrajaya yesterday.

Zuraida said the works at the WTE plant in Ladang Tanah Merah in Lukut have also been affected by the Movement Control Order.

Cypark group CEO Datuk Daud Ahmad said the company would only have a clear direction on the commissioning process after the experts arrive. However, this remains uncertain as international borders are still closed and the special approval process is still underway.

“This involves a few countries including Korea, Japan and Germany, who are the technology providers for this plant.

“They need to lead the T&C process and ensure it meets the requirements before handing over to us. This is a critical process,” Daud said.

He added that once successful, Cypark will be granted an operation certificate which allows it to commercialise the energy produced at the facility, including to sell to Tenaga Nasional Bhd.

Built on a 4ha area, the Ladang Tanah Merah WTE incinerator project will be able to handle 600 tonnes of mechanically segregated and processed municipal solid waste per day. This will produce between 20MW and 25MW of green energy, sufficient to power about 25,000 households in its vicinity.

The public-private partnership is under the build-operate-manage-transfer concept for a lease period of 25 years.

The ministry is looking to build six WTE plants towards 2025, considering various technologies including biogas and thermal treatment systems.

In July, it announced the request for proposal for the construction of a WTE plant in the Bukit Payong Sanitary landfill in Batu Pahat, Johor.

Zuraida said the project will be awarded in the first half of 2021 (1H21).

Separately, Zuraida said the Home Ownership Campaign (HOC) would not be affected by the National Property Information Centre (NAPIC) data released recently, which reported the property market’s steep fall in 1H20.

According to NAPIC, property transaction volume for the period dropped 27.9% year-on-year to 115,476 units, while transaction value declined 31.5% to RM46.94 billion over the same period in 2019.

“Most unsold houses are high rise and in the RM500,000 and above range.

“We will let the market dynamic take care of it as our priority (through HOC) is to cater the B40 (bottom 40%) group,” Zuraida said.

At the event, Zuraida handed over certificates of appointments to 109 JPKKP chairmen from four states — Selangor, Penang, Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur — who are not politically aligned with the government.

They will each receive up to RM100,000 to carry out programmes at their respective villages.