Malaysia with geothermal potential at Tawau, Sabah

Alexander Richter 24 Jul 2009

Tawau in Malaysia has an electricity generation potential of up to 67 MW from geothermal resources following the discovery of a geothermal site in Apas by a study by the Mineral and Geoscience Department.

Reported locally, “Tawau has potential to generate electricity from geothermal sources following the discovery of a geothermal site in Apas, about 40km from (Tawau).

Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said a study by the Mineral and Geoscience Department so far had found that there was potential to generate up to 67MW of electricity a day to meet the energy needs of Tawau.

“This place is unique to Sabah. However, the study is ongoing and the government will provide ample allocations to enable it to be completed,” he said after visiting the geothermal site Thursday.

He said the magnetotelluric study on the 50 sq km site started two years and found that it had potential to generate electricity.

The study also found a reservoir about 2,000 to 3,000m below the earth’s surface with water at temperatures of 220 to 236 degrees Celsius which was more than enough heat to generate electricity, he said.

Kurup said, however, that it would take time to implement the project as there were several matters to resolve first as the land was under the Sabah’s jurisdiction and was located within the Sabah Parks, a protected area.

He said that under the Ninth Malaysia Plan the government had allocated RM1.5 million (US$ 420,000) for research on the site and it was hoped that drilling could start under the 10th Malaysia Plan.”