28. August 2012 · Comments Off on Repeal Section 15(2) of the Forest Enactment 1968 (Sabah) – SEPA · Categories: Environment, News & Updates


Sabah Environment Protection Association has called on the Sate Government to Repeal Section 15(2) of the Forest Enactment 1968 (Sabah), because even violation of State laws can deem compliance under a strange provision.

Section 15(2) principally state that “under the provisions of this Enactment, but subject thereto, where any provision of such license agreement is inconsistent which any provision of this Enactment compliance with the provisions of such license agreement shall be deemed to be compliance with the provisions of this Enactment”

Because of the sweeping overriding power against our own State laws, nothing seems safe and Sabah risks losing its valuable natural resources and heritage such as Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, the Balambangan limestone massifs and even Mt. Kinabalu to private businesses, foreign companies included, through the stroke of an agreement by a few State CEOs.

Section 15(2) which opens the door to potentially serious public losses, before future damages surprise everyone simply because there exists such an incredible lope-hole which deems non-compliance to State laws as compliance, because it accords superior status to provisions in license agreements.

Sepa discovered this insidious power residing in Section 15(2) of the forest Enactment during our struggle to save Tawau’s Kukusan Forest/Trig reserve. We have already lost a once Class 1 Protection forest in Kukusan Hill apparently because of the superior status of the provisions in an obscure supplementary agreement.

“The agreement struck on 9th August 2010, obligated CEO of Hap Seng Group Quarry and Building Material Division Director, Ron Delaney to contribute RM2 million to the Sabah State Forestry Department’s Forest Conservation Trust Fund and USD66, 000 (about RM214, 000) to the department for tree replanting and rehabilitation that would involve 66 hectare in Kukusan Forest Reserve, purportedly in line with their so called Corporate Social Responsibility.

In return, however, the Government and Hap Seng Building Materials entered a 15 years, Supplementary Agreement for the whole-of-life Plan and Extension of Area for the Kukusan Quarry supposedly for a continuous stream of quarry products to the community. But our Tawau market sources said the stones were exported to Brunei and Indonesia.

At the end of 15 years, we believe it will flattened the whole hill and will left behind a toxic lake with no beneficially to the people of Sabah especially Tawau. That was the big wake-up called lesson, Sepa learnt from our battle to save Tawau’s Kukusan Hill Forest Reserve from annihilation, over the last few month.

Sepa thought if we could highlight in the local press Hap Seng’s history of serious violations against Class 1 Protection Forest law on the strict no take and no conversion ban, Class 2 Commercial Forest rules limiting activities to only timber logging and forest produce and no destruction of forest, and also violation against Land Ordinance (Sabah Cap 68) on government Trig Reserve, the authorities would act to cancel Hap Seng’s quarry license and leave kukusan Hill alone.

We traced hard facts of history to show how Forest Department actually designated Kukusan Hill a Class 1 Protected Forest between 1984 and 2003 but Hap Seng which began quarrying Kukusan on July 1980, dynamited freely in a Class 1 Forest all through those 20 years. When people protested about the violation, someone went to the Legislative Assembly to downgrade Kukusan to a Class 2 Commercial Forest which actually still bars quarrying but Hap Seng continued as usual.

When the double violations we cited were not enough. SEPA engaged a licensed private surveyor – Jurukur Sabah, to assess whether it had violated Section 26(1)(2) and Section 160 of the Land Office’s Government Trig Reserve under the Land Ordinance (Sabah Cap 68) in early March 2012.

To our shock, the survey report completed in Mid March revealed Hap Seng’s has blasted away 6.33 acres or 99 percent of the 6.39 acre land. But still, the Director of Land and Survey did not come out to cancel Hap Seng’s licence in the same way that he cancelled the operation license of Leeka Quarry on Sin Onn Hill, at the end of last year.

The pleasant surprise to us all is that Sin Onn Hill actually sits on a private alienated land but the Land Office showed it had the power to act incisively to terminate its license on account of a violation of Government Trig Reserve law on a Hill Ridge.

But both the Forestry Department and Land Office mystified SEPA why they took no action against Hap Seng on apparently even worse violations.

After the big fuss in the local press, Delaney from Hap Seng, flew over to Sabah personally to meet SEPA in a closed door session but instead of being apologetic, he categorically declared the company had fulfilled all legal requirement under State laws and advised SEPA to go after the authorities if we thought they had done anything inappropriate. But Delaney’s both all-compliance claims let the cat out of the bag.

It alerted SEPA to Section 15 (2) of the Forest Enactment which says compliance with provisions under the Supplementary Agreement which apparently is good enough to protect the company from non-compliance provisions of the Forest Enactment and so he felt confident Hap Seng is protected.

We think this is why Sabahans should question the outrageous, sweeping overriding power of Section 15(2) of the Forest Enactment 1966 (Sabah).

But before we could even confront the relevant State departments, the Director of Sabah Forestry Department went to the press to justify the deal, labeled Kukusan Hill in its present condition as a mere ‘paper protection’ and argued further that accepting the conservation money from Hap Seng for a good forest conservation cause is proper since Sabah has the forests but lacks finance.

It deject SEPA to see the custodian of one of the richest tropical timber forests in the world now bow to the stone business of a foreign own company for money, because the Department allowed people to strip and empty its timber content, in the way the Kukusan Class 1 protection Forest has been stripped of its timber, right under the nose of the Forestry Department.

SEPA fears that if a State Department is allowed to take money from private business, it immediately owes private business interest a big favor, and we risk sell-outs of all public resources to a few because money motivates people powerfully to make not necessarily the right decision for public interest.

We now risk a trend where we risk the regulator being subject to the regulated, their terms and conditions which risk comprising their sacred mandate as guardians to safeguard the people’s vital resources.

SEPA therefore urge the State Government to bar State Department or Agencies to accept funding from private business interest and repeal Section 15(2) of the Forest Enactment.

The Government should use instead tax payers’ money to increase cash flows substantially to department mandated to protect the State key natural resources to ensure effective, independent regulation, through the annual State or Federal budgets, instead of forever treating conservation as a worthless, backyard issue.


02. August 2012 · Comments Off on ENOUGH IS ENOUGH – Kukusan Reserve/ Trig Hill Reserve · Categories: Environment, News & Updates


In a recent closed-door meeting with SEPA President Wong Tack, Hap Seng Building Material Sdn Bhd Australian CEO Mr. Ron Delaney said categorically that the company fulfilled all legal requirement under the law to blast our Kukusan Forest Reserve/Trig Hill reserve to annihilation of the hill and has the potential to leave behind a toxic waste lake a legacy to Tawau. He said if SEPA is not happy, then we should go after the authorities and not Hap Seng.

Delaney claimed that Hap Seng is not exporting the quality aggregate stones to Brunei, Indonesia and others.

SEPA believes that Hap Seng’s claim that they are not exporting the aggregate stones to Brunei and Indonesia is “misleading” as it is common knowledge among the industry in Tawau who believe that they export most of that product through third party via Teck Quan jetty and Tanjung Batu Log Pond jetty.

According to Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd web site, their quarries in East Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia currently produce approximately 8.4 million metric tonnes of quality aggregate stone per year. Out of which at least a million ton of stones come from our dying Kukusan Forest/Trig Hill Reserve, based on our market information, the Kukusan Quarry has a production capacity of no less than 150,000 tons per month!

Hap Seng has embarked an aggressive plan using Australian mining technology to build a sophisticated conveyer system whereby it can convey millions of tons from it Kukusan Quarry to Tanjung Batu log pond, a distant of about 3 km. A section of the loading system has been completed and operation.

Hap Seng’s intention to finish of Kukusan Forest/Trig reserve in a minimum time for profit at the expense of our children and social economic future of Sabah implicit in the “whole life Plan” deal struck with the Forestry Department. Imagine what material would our future generation use to build on?

SEPA is wondering why the authority refuse to act against Hap Seng, knowing that their action is detrimental to the interest of the people of Sabah and it future generation.

Could Section 15 of the Forest Enactment 1968 is so powerful that it veto the followings:

1. The gazette Forest Reserve Act

2. The Sabah land Ordinance Cap 68, section 26(1&2) and section 160 under Trig Reserve

3. The Environment Quality Act 1974, under section on EIA project concept, the project proponent must make sure that the concept of the proposed project does not contradict any development plans, policies or any decision of the Government of Malaysia prior to the EIA Study.

Does Forest Reserve and policies not under the National Physical Plan, local Plan or Regional Plan for the protection of our natural reserve and resources? If they do, then the EIA conducted in Kukusan Reserve/ Trig Hill Reserve is faulty.

“SEPA wants to know why our elected government can down grade a CLASS 1 protected Forest to CLASS 2 Commercial Forest and then allow a foreign Corporation to enter into agreement to remove an iconic landscape and natural heritage completely and potentially leaves behind a massive toxic lake and this is all done with the approval of the current state cabinet in 2011” Wong Tact said

Gary Yap

Related Link: Sepa again insists Kukusan blasting detrimental


27. July 2012 · Comments Off on 64MW power plant project in Taman Millenium, Tawau is illegal and not following any proper procedure · Categories: Environment


We would like to thank the Assistant minister for requesting us (SEPA) to prove that the plant is according to the procedure and detrimental to the people of tawau, exclusively for the people of Taman Millenium.

We SEPA will prove that this project is illegal and not following any proper procedure. We would like to highlight the followings:-

1. SESB is unlawfully occupying the state land/land reserved which fall under public residential purpose under Sabah Land Ordinance Section 166.

To prove the point, under the letter from Jabatan Tanah Ukur, REF; L.S.1019.1.10/23 which stated CL105386034 is under land acquisition is for the purpose of power transmission.

Under section 30 (bb), SPECIFIC RIGHTS RESERVED, the right of constructing supply lines for conveying, transmitting or distributing electricity, laying down gas pipelines shall be determined in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Land Acquisition Ordinance (Cap 69)

2. Zoning.

Under the letter from MPT ref: MPT/PBP.12.90.83 dated 03 September 1997 stated proposed planning brief on CL105361135, CL 105384834 and CL105361153 at Jalan Sin On Eastern, Tawau is zoned under residential area. Therefore the power transmission station is under the zone of the said area.

Under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, project proponent must make sure that the concept of the proposed project does not contradict any development plans, policies or any decisions of the government of Malaysia prior to EIA study, namely:

a) National physical plan
b) Structure plan
c) Local plan
d) Regional plan (inter-state planning)
e) Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd on the disposal of scheduled wastes in Malaysia
f) Agreement between the government of Malaysia and Pantai Medivest Sdn Bhd, Faber, Mediserve Sdn Bhd and Radicare Sdn Bhd on the disposal of clinical wastes from government hospitals.
g) Guidelines on highland development (Garis panduan pembangunan di kawasan tahan tinggi)
h) Guidelines on siting and zoning of industries

Meaning, the proposed Kubota power plant must be in line with the environmental quality act 1974, in this case, Kubota power plant is an industry and should not be build in the residential area.

Definition of “industry plant” means ant plant used for the generation of power or for any industrial use or for the operation of ships, dredges, locomotives, cranes or other machines

3. Power generation.

Under the Environmental Quality Act 1974, appendix 2, Section 13 A, the DOE explanation is there are no steam generation, therefore does not need for EIA report. However, we do not agree with the interpretation of the DOE. The key words under section 13 (a) are, steam generation, burning fossil fuel capacity 10MW, why DOE ignore that it burn ½ million liters of diesel with the capacity of more than 10MW to come to a conclusion that no EIA is required.

Section 13 (c), construction of combined cycle power station need EIA, in case of Kubota power plant; it has a single stage gas turbine power generation, meaning that Kubota power plant has only 30% efficiency whereas combined power plant has 60% efficiency. Therefore Kubota power plant will have more heat and air pollution. Why DOE do approved the project without the need for EIA.

Even though the DOE has given the license to Kubota Power Plant to operate, we believe that the Environmental Quality Act 1974 was not properly followed.

4. Procedure

What procedure is YB Pang is talking about whereby SESB does not follow the law? Kubota power plant is squeezed into a tiny piece of state land, whereby safety of the plant is not taken into consideration.

The millions liters of diesel tank is build too close to the main road and the fuel diesel discharge point is build right on the shoulder of the road reserve.

Generally this project does not take safety features into consideration be it fire, lightning, health and environment.

According to YB Pang, the plant is operating on gas/petrol and expected to complete by October this year. YB Pang is misleading the people of Tawau by stating it can operate by gas or petrol. Gas is contained in spherical shape tank and petrol is highly flammable is store underground. The tank that now being build is meant for diesel only.

SEPA need not to prove the whole project is detrimental to the people of Tawau because that fact is elementary.

According to YB Pang, that only the minority support of people of Taman Millenium, including SEPA. Does YB Pang understand under the EIA Act under the section on flora and fauna, even a monkey has to be taken into consideration, what more of the people of Taman Millineum. It is not about the minority, it is about the environment and law and not about politics.


Related Link:
Borneo Post: Prove Tawau power project detrimental, Sepa told
Borneo Post: SEPA to prove power plant detrimental to people

25. July 2012 · Comments Off on KUKUSAN FOREST/TRIG HILL RESERVE – GAZ. NO. S14-49 · Categories: Environment

SABAH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (SEPA) is very sad and disgusted to see that an iconic protected Kukusan Forest/Trig Hill Reserve, given by God and left behind by our forefather as 1st Class Forest Reserve for perpetually, is being given the go ahead to be blasted, mine until a toxic lake is created.

Never in the History of mankind that such a beautiful hill with potential for tourism, recreation and at the same time protect the climatic condition of Tawau, using loophole of the Forestry Enactment 1968, Environment Quality Act 1974 and poorly enforce Sabah Land Ordinance Cap 68, to legalize a foreign own public listed company, Hap Seng Consolidated Bhd to blatantly destroy our heritage Hill and forest reserve for a small profit.

According to Director of Forestry, Hap Seng operation in Kukusan Forest Reserve/Trig Hill is legal under section 15 of Forest Enactment, 1968 which state,

1) Saves as otherwise provided in this Enactment and notwithstanding the provisions of any other State law, no right of any description in or over a Forest Reserve or any part thereof shall be acquired except by virtue and in accordance with terms of, a licence agreement entered into by the Minister or of a licence.

1A) A licence agreement entered into by the Minister under subsection (1) of this section may provide for the planting of forest or timber trees upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed.

2) Any licence agreement entered into by the Minister under this section shall be subject to any admitted rights or conceded privileges and any special condition attaching to Forest Reserve concerned under the provisions of this Enactment, but subject thereto, where any provision of such licence agreement is inconsistent with any provision of this Enactment with any provision of this Enactment compliance with the provisions of such licence agreement shall deemed to be compliance with the provisions of this Enactment.

What is this Section 15 of the Forest Enactment 1968 which is so powerful that it allowed Hap Seng, under a Supplementary Agreement to occupy, quarry and mine our stone in the Kukusan Forest Reserve 155 acres for 15 years?

The forest Director is given a mandate by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah to protect our Gazette Forest Reserve and not to destroy and make a profit. Section 15 of the Forest Enactment Act does not indicate that it allow a Minister to licence a private company to quarry and mine stone of such magnitude.

Forestry Policy and Enactment Act are there to protect our valuable Natural Resource and not to be capitalized by any party, be it forestry department or private company for that matter.

If Section 15 can be misuses, then no Forest Reserve can be save included Danun Valley, Maliau Basin, Kinabalu Park and other forest and mangrove reserve. There are always excuses to mine mineral, coal and stone from this areas.

Sepa want to question Forestry what legal meant? Between 1984 to 2003 when it was Class One Protection forest, to be left untouched for the maintenance of forest essential on climatic or physical grounds, violation fall under Section 20(1) and 33(1) and Section (30) of the Forest Enactment 1968.

When the public complained against quarrying activities in a Class One forest, what surprised us most was Kukusan forest/Trig Hill reserve was declassify into Class Two by the State Legislative Assembly to allow Hap Seng or its subsidiary to continue operation instead of chasing them away or charge them in court.

In 2006 Hap Seng Building Material Sdn Bhd applied to DOE for quarry operation on trigonometrically station Kukusan and in 2007 for pit quarry development at Kukusan and both cases DOE rejected.

Until May 2011 DOE approved EIA was given for whole life operation, meaning Hap Seng or its subsidiary was blasting and digging away illegally without a DOE licence, violating the Environment Quality Act 1974.

Trig Kukusan Hill is reserve under Gazette No. S.14-49 is protected by law under Sabah Land Ordinance Cap 68 Section 26 (1&2) and section 160.

SEPA would like to ask the Director of Forestry how he come to the conclusion that Hap Seng operation legal, in other country once a company has violated its law, they are not allow to operate the business anymore. In our case we bend the law to accommodate and reward the violated.

What more Kukusan Forest/Trig Hill worth billions ringgit in stone is given away by Forestry for two million ringgit and a small amount in taxes. In ten year time, Tawau or that matter Sabah will have to import stone to build road and house that meet JKR standard.

Within 10 years Hap Seng will blast and mine the whole Kukusan Hill under their whole life plan agreement with Forestry depart will eventually leaving a toxic lake behind not a creation park like Sunway lagoon. Most of the stone will be exported out of the Country like our timber. In the past, Hap Seng play a major role in depleted our valuable timber and now doing the same thing for our stone.

The sad day will come for our children when we run out of basic material for building our house, flat, highway, road, drain, port and etc and have to import or substitute with an inferior material just because our authority collaborate with violated and does not act according to the law.

Gary Yap

Related Link

Free Malaysia Today: Why allow mining at forest reserve?
NST: Report sought on quarry work at Tawau forest reserve


22. April 2012 · Comments Off on SEPA Sustainable Farming Talk @ SRK(C) Chung Hwa Likas · Categories: Environment

Many thanks to Principal Yong to allow such green event to take part at the school.

Shum and Ng explained the difference of organic and chemical planted vegetables and the important of sustainable farming.

Shum teach the student of the right way to toil the ground for better farming.

Ng introduce organic fertilizer to the student.

Plot of ground let to settle and ready to be planted with vegetables.

Principal Yong received material of composite and organic fertilizer for compost support by SEPA for the sustainable farming project.

For more photos, please go to the link below.

Sustainable Farming Talk @ SJK(C) Chung Hwa Likas


16. April 2012 · Comments Off on River Quality at Kampung Ambual · Categories: Environment

26 March 2012 
Report Prepared By: Sabah Environmental Protection Association

1. Introduction:

  • SEPA was contacted by the Kampung representative of Kg Ambual (Garius bin Pukin), with a complaint against water quality in their area.
  • SEPA conducted a site visit, to Kg. Ambual and to Sook oil Mills  Sdn Bhd.

2. Background:

  • Kampung Ambual is inhabited by the Murut Ambual, population of 1035.
  • Kg. Ambual moved to its current location decades ago due to various reasons, where part of the old site was gazetted as a forest reserve and part was alienated to cater for an oil palm plantation.  The villagers claim to have tried to apply for their ancestors land, however was not done formally and relied upon the Wakil Rakyat.
  • The villagers of Kg. Ambual rely heavily (70%) on direct water supply (picture, pg 6) from the river. The piped water supply built by the government (20 years ago) is insufficient for this population’s usage.
  • Kg. Ambual also depends on the river for fish and shellfish for livelihood. Their dependency on the river also goes towards watering their crops and padi.
  • According to Garius, the village representative, the Mill was built at the old kampung site in 2008 (Newspaper article, Pg 5, 7.1).
  • Mill has been operating for the last 3 years.

3. Facts:

  • Kg Ambual reported poor water quality due to site clearing and building operations of Sook Mill that is located up stream. Newspaper clipping attached (Pg 5, 7.1).
  • No report available from DOE.


  • Community complained to Garius on the Water quality of the river (pictures Pg 6, 7.2)
  • Freshwater shellfish and fish found dead in the “tagal” area about 5km downriver from the mill.
  • Padi harvest in early march down by 40%. Harvest from the earlier 2 rounds yield was 4.16 ton/acre, March = 1.3 ton/acre. DOA was called in but to date have not taken soil samples to determine cause. (pictures Pg 7, 7.4)
  • Complained to DOE, DOA, Wakil Rakyat.


January (late)/12
  • DOE visited the affected site and the mill in late Jan, water samples taken but to date no results.

4. Issues:

  • The village drinking/eating water supply is disrupted and they need to now travel into town to buy water which is becoming a heavy cost to them.
  • The villagers that rely on the sale of padi for their livelihood or for their diet now have to buy rice.
  • Sales from freshwater shellfish is no longer available, and source of protein (fish) is not available.
  • Although the Village Rep is sure that the affected river is the source of their water problems, this is being disputed by the Mill representative. There is a need to verify the route of river.
  • Further investigations needs to be done to determine the  claim of reduction of padi harvest to 40% is linked to the effluent discharged from the mill.

5. Solutions:

In a discussion between SEPA , Village Rep and Sook Oil Mill, it was agreed that an immediate solution to the problem of drinking water would have to be dealt with.Village Rep (Garius) stated that there was an unaffected tributary that was still clean and that a piping system could be dragged to the Kampung. The Mill Manager (Arthur Chui) agreed to aid in this to overcome this most urgent issue. He also suggested putting in a filtration system.However, SEPA did state that it was important for the mill to stop directly discharging as can be seen in Pg 7, 7.3 into the rivers and that there was an urgency of desludging its POME ponds as it had not been desludged in 3 years. Arthur further added, that they were having trouble with its polishing plant and that the consultants were causing them problems.Arthur had also stated that he had submitted his report and has added that POME treatement should be conducted. But this was up to the owner’s discretion.


6. Conclusion:

The interim solution is to deal with the villagers’ emergency situation. However SEPA recommends that a long term solution that is viable should be worked on. SEPA has conducted research with a partner group in West Malaysia dealing with POME treatment and has successfully completed its pilot stage. This system works towards a zero discharge system.


News Paper Clipping (Click to download the news)

Related News:
Penduduk bimbang kesan pencemaran kilang kelapa sawit


05. August 2011 · Comments Off on Sepa wants govt to call off dam projects · Categories: Environment, News & Updates

The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) wants the authorities to make a decision to call off the construction of the Tambatuon and Kaiduan dams before August 31.

Speaking to the media at SEPA’s new office in Taman Khidmat in Kolombong here yesterday, its president, Wong Tack, said both projects should be scrapped immediately as they affect villagers in both areas.

“Carrying on with the projects would only cause anxiety to the people, so we hope the authority concerned would make a decision before August 31 to call off the projects so that the people can carry on with their daily life.”

Wong said SEPA had visited both villagers and after talking to the people, “we believe they strongly reject the dam projects”.

“When we were there, the people came up to us telling that they do not know what the future holds for them if the projects proceed as they would affect their agriculture and their lives,” he said.

According to Wong, the Tambatuon dam project was initially for supplying water to padi farmers to upgrade their padi production in Kota Belud.

“We know that the Federal Government has allocated RM1 billion to build this infrastructure but how much of water shortage is there in that area we do not know.

“What we want to see is a study of the region, the whole landscape of the area, the river systems and how much water is coming in … and how much of water shortage we actually face.

“If the natural system at this moment can only support 10,000 acres then let us plant 10,000 acres of padi and improve the method of planting, management, infrastructure and so on and not by building a large dam that could support 20,000 acres but only enable 10,000 acres,” he said.

Wong added that building a dam could damage the natural river systems whereby the downstream river beds could dry up during dry season, killing all life system in the river while upstream could accumulate waste.

“The sustainable way is to protect the natural system. We have many river systems running, so let’s do a proper study to preserve and protect our natural system and environment,” he said.

05. August 2011 · Comments Off on Green power plant gets thumbs up · Categories: Environment, News & Updates

TAWAU: The first geothermal power plant in the country has received good response from villagers, environmentalists and opposition leaders whose main concerns are environmental impact and costs.

A dialogue session was conducted by Tawau Green Energy Sdn Bhd at Kampung Tass, Andrassy community hall here yesterday to tell the people of the benefits of the clean energy being proposed by the company at Apas Kiri area, Mount Andrassy Forest Reserve/Taman Bukit Tawau.

The project is located at the southern side of Maria Peak.

Sri Tanjung assemblyman Jimmy Wong who is also DAP Sabah chairman, said the proposed project is good as it is environment friendly, and congratulated the company for being the first in the country to bring in this technology.

Jimmy also asked about the risks involved and whether there is a guarantee that Tawau, especially those in Andrassy, will be given top priority to take up 500 job opportunities in the proposed project.

Project director Andrew Amaladoss assured Jimmy that the plant operation is very safe and that risks only arise if there is a breakdown at the plant and auxiliary equipment, including normal wear and tear.

Providing assurance, Andrew cited the first geothermal plant in Italy as an example, which is still running.

On job vacancies, he said priority would be given to residents of Tawau and those staying nearby. On the issue of salary, the company would take note of the higher cost of living in the state.

Meanwhile, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Supreme Council member Kenneth Goh hopes it is not a test pilot project.

He added that it must be ensured that the project is not a waste by the government again.

However, Kenneth said he is glad to see the proposed project being carried out in line with the national green energy policy.

To his question during the question-and-answer session, Kenneth was told that the plant will cost RM300 million.

The cost, in comparison with other plants, will show significant benefits in the long run and it is not an IPP (Independent Power Plant) but a small renewal energy power plant.

Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) president Wong Tack said he is happy to hear of the project even though six months ago Sabahans were told that there was no other alternative except for a coal-fired power plant.

He said Tawau should be proud because it is the first in the country and hoped the company will carry out the project with serious integrity.

Wong only expressed concern for the forest reserve being used as forest is very important to carbon credit.

So he called for some more dialogue sessions with the people and reports that are easier to be understood by ordinary people.

Wong was told that the stakeholders are all from Sabah, and according to the agreement and approval from the federal and state governments, the stake cannot be sold to others.

But Green Surf’s Tawau chairman Gary Yap questioned the level of the plant at an elevation of 200 metres from sea level.

However, he said he would pose his question again in the next session.

Tawau Consumer Association chairman Sylvester S Taing, who asked whether there would be an increase in tariff and side effects on the farming community at Kampung Tass, was told that the electricity tariff would remain the same for 20 to 30 years.

This is based on the agreement and no areas will be disturbed and that there will be no side effects on farmlands as it is only electricity and water steam.

Tawau Green Energy Sdb Bhd website www.tgepower.com explains that geothermal energy is a renewable green energy that does not require fuel-burning to produce heat or electricity.

It is derived from the earth’s natural hot geothermal water, usually from hot spring, to generate electricity.

Geothermal power plants emit little carbon dioxide, negligible nitrogen oxide and very low amount of sulfur dioxide.

Geothermal energy, the heat of the Earth, provides continuous, 24-hour a day, clean, sustainable energy production.

Together, advances in technology, private investment and government support are increasing geothermal energy production in the United States and worldwide.

It is considered a renewable resource because the heat emanating from the interior of the Earth is essentially limitless.

The heat continuously flowing from the Earth’s interior, which travels primarily by conduction, is estimated to be equivalent to 42 million megawatts (MW) of power, and is expected to remain so for billions of years to come, ensuring an inexhaustible supply of energy

A geothermal system requires heat, permeability and water. The heat from the Earth’s core continuously flows outward.

The heat sometimes, as magma, reaches the surface as lava, but it usually remains below the Earth’s crust, heating nearby rocks and water.

The heat sometimes may also rise to levels as hot as 700¢XF. When water is heated by the Earth’s heat, hot water or steam can be trapped in permeable and porous rocks under a layer of impermeable rock and a geothermal reservoir can form.

This hot geothermal water can manifest itself on the surface as hot springs or geysers, but most of it stays deep underground, trapped in cracks and porous rock. This natural collection of hot water is called a geothermal reservoir.

Operating geothermal power plants utilise fluids that flow through fracture networks of heated subsurface rock which creates reservoirs of hot fluid or steam.

The process is similar to other fuel thermal power plants except that it does not require burning of any fuel.

It will utilise energy from natural steam and/or hot water from the geothermal reservoir. When the rising hot water and steam is trapped in permeable and porous rocks under a layer of impermeable rock, it can form a geothermal reservoir.

The hot pressure fluid will be confined and managed, then will be used to drive turbines and generate electricity.