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Tawau Green Energy and University of Auckland to cooperate

Semporna, Tawau, Malaysia (source: flickr/ kianboon, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 28 Feb 2014

Tawau Green Energy, the developer of Malaysia's first geothermal power project, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Auckland in New Zealand. This seals a cooperation to set up a Geothermal Resource Centre at Tawau.

Reported today, The University of Auckland and Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd (TGE) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the development of Malaysia’s first geothermal energy industry in Tawau.

During the signing ceremony which was held in Auckland, New Zealand recently, Managing Director of TGE, Ramzi Raad and Dr Andy Shenk of the University of Auckland agreed to facilitate the provision of the university’s expertise in geothermal training and research. The University of Auckland is one of the leaders for applied research and training in geothermal energy.

The MoU was for the two parties to forge a collaboration for the Geothermal Resource Centre (GRC) being set up by TGE in Tawau as part of its development project and supported by the Federal and Sabah State Government.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The collaboration will enable the Geothermal Resource Centre to develop its capacity building for the Malaysian geothermal energy industry. It will also provide specialist training in all aspects of geothermal energy including applied geosciences, steamfield design, power plant technology, power plant engineering and design, operations and maintenance, environmental compliance etc and also to provide a platform for local universities and institutions of higher learning to collaborate with foreign institutions with expertise in all aspects of geothermal energy.

The centre will also run seminars, short courses and other training programmes for Malaysian engineers and scientists keen to involve themselves in this new field of renewable energy. It also encourages local and foreign universities to collaborate on joint-research activities on the Apas Kiri Geothermal field.

TGE is developing Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant at Apas Kiri, Tawau, which will deliver 30MW of electricity to the Sabah State Grid in May 2016. Drilling operations are expected to commence at the end of April 2014.

Ongkili hoped that with the setting up of the GRC, Malaysia’s human capital and expertise in the geothermal energy field would be strengthened.

“This is especially so as we want to promote use of renewable energy and reduce our dependency on fossil fuel. Currently renewable energy accounts for 0.85% of our country’s energy mix and we hope to increase that to 5.5% in the nearest future,” he said.

TGE is also expected to enter into similar arrangements with other universities in the near future.”

Source: Borneo Post