South Korean investors are keen to establish a biomass pellet plant in Sarawak to expand its share in the global biomass feedstock market.
If this proposed venture by Eco Frontier is successful, it could mean hundreds of millions in additional annual revenue to the state coffers.
Eco Frontier’s interest in Sarawak was revealed during a recent meeting between the company’s top brass with a Sarawak delegation led by Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, who is also Minister of Industrial Development Sarawak.
“We offer a proven business plan, long-term pellet buyer, and active biomass investor model,” said its managing director David Dae-woong Lim.
Also present were its chairman and CEO Hae-Bong Cheoung, president Jung-Man Chung and president of South East Asia Region Jeapil Song.
One of the attractive features of such a power plant is that it is a green business, and greenhouse-emission friendly.
Eco Frontier’s milestones include developing the world’s largest biomass power plant, of 300MW in capacity, in the United Kingdom. It requires two million tons of biomass pellets annually.
It also has two biomass power plants in Asia: in Lahad Datu, Sabah, and Shandong Pingyuan Han Yan in China.
They are currently developing two OPF pellet plants in Malaysia and Indonesia, and are seeking partners to expand its capacity.
The pellets are supplied to utility companies in South Korea and the UK. It also has partners in the United States and Brazil.
Global pellet demand is expected to grow significantly in the future as it is considered one of the most efficient ways to generate renewable energy.
South Korea has already adopted a renewal protocol policy of 10 per cent increase of renewable energy by 2020, with a two per cent annual increment starting this year. Its aim is to reduce its dependence on nuclear (45%) and other fossil fuel (LNG and coal) for its power plants.
The production of pellets can be sourced from wood residues of planted forest, short rotation coppice (SRC) planting, and oil palm residue.
The biomass pellet plant Eco Frontier has in mind could create 1,500 jobs, and reduce green house emissions equivalent to 1.37 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Oil palm kernels shell, empty fruit bunches and fronds could be used as pellets feedstock, and 0.3 million tonnes could be derived from 100,000 ha of oil palm plantation.
Sarawak currently has about one million ha of oil palm, and as such this proposed project looks attractive.
Awang Tengah said he welcomed Eco Frontier’s keen interest, and invited its officials to visit the state for further discussion with the State Planning Unit and STIDC.
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