Towards greener farming with biogas power plant

Chow (sixth from right) and Dennis (fourth from right) at the ground-breaking ceremony for the biogas plant in Valdor in Sungai Bakap near Nibong Tebal. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

AN ANIMAL waste biogas plant will be built on a 1ha plot of private land in Jalan Valdor 17, Perkampungan Valdor, Sungai Bakap near Nibong Tebal in Penang.

Timeless Green Sdn Bhd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Clean Green Kg Valdor Sdn Bhd, is developing a centralised biogas power plant.

It will divert wastewater from 40 animal farms in Valdor to the treatment plant, the first project of its kind in peninsular Malaysia, and is fully funded by the private sector.

Timeless Green Sdn Bhd founder Datuk Dr Dennis Ganendra said the land would be leased for 17 years.

He revealed the project costing more than RM23mil would be a private investment initiative with a loan secured from Hong Leong Bank.

He said no funds were obtained from the state or Federal Government for the project.

“The plant is expected to be operational by March next year,” he said in his speech before the ground-breaking ceremony by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Dennis said that the electricity produced from the biogas plant would be supplied to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) via the Feed-In Tariff scheme backed by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda).

“Pipes will be used to transfer the waste from those farms closer to the plant while a trucking system will be used for farms which are far from the plant.

“This is a major step for modern pig farming, making it cleaner and more sustainable.

“This project will significantly improve water quality and reduce odour in the vicinity, thus improving the quality of life in the surrounding areas.

“The vision and commitment by the farmers at Perkampungan Valdor is a key element in ensuring the success of this biogas plant,” said Dennis.

Chow said the farmers would no longer have to discharge the animal waste into the drainage system once the project was completed.

“Today marks a historic moment for Perkampungan Valdor as it aspires to contribute towards our Penang Green Agenda to become the greenest state in Malaysia by 2030.

“We hope that the long-standing problem of animal waste being discharged into the river will be eliminated through the participation of the farms in this pilot project,” he added.

Chow said the environment-friendly project would have two components.

He said the first was to address the emission of waste causing environmental issues for the local and surrounding communities, while the second was the production of green energy from animal waste. “I congratulate Timeless Green for promoting green investment and starting sustainable projects such as the biogas power plant that will be developed here.

“The Penang government welcomes such initiatives which will improve and safeguard our water and air quality.

“This biogas power plant leads the way for modern pig farming, making it cleaner and more sustainable as an agricultural necessity that is friendly and acceptable to the community.

“It is also an important step and a major boost to our food security.

“With the advent of new technology and good work ethics, gone are the days when animal farms became breeding grounds for deadly diseases and large numbers of animals had to be culled to contain the problem like in the past,” added Chow.

Also at the ground-breaking event were state executive councillors Phee Boon Poh and Dr Norlela Ariffin, state assembly Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, Jawi assemblyman H’ng Mooi Lye and Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik.

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