Brunei can use wastage products to generate energy

Posted on  15/08/2014  |  Media Centre


Leo Kasim

Friday, August 15, 2014

BRUNEI should embrace technologies that can convert municipal waste into energy which can be sold back to the power grid, an executive of a Singapore-based environmental waste management company said.

According to Edwin Khew, managing director of Anaergia Pte Ltd, Brunei’s organic waste output is a clear business opportunity to be involved in.

“The commercial viability of turning waste into energy is definitely there particularly when the country dispenses a lot of organic waste,” Khew told The Brunei Times.

He said that ‘anaerobic digestors’, which are tanks filled with bacteria that thrive in an environment without oxygen, can convert organic waste into an energy source called biogas.

Khew said the waste could be anything as long as it’s organic. This could be food, animal waste, sewage or agricultural waste, all of which have some sort of value to produce biogas.

He said that biogas is comprised of about 60-70 per cent methane which is a natural gas that can be extracted from the ground.

These digestor tanks can also process organic waste in a certain period of time depending on the temperature setting.

On top of that, Khew said that the technology can be used to produce compost which can be used for organic farming.

“It essentially means that there is no such thing as waste with these technologies around,” he said.

Although the investment for anaerobic plants is more expensive than the average power plant, he said that the commercial and environmental benefits outweigh the initial costs.

According to him, the plants will cost at least about US$4 million ($5 million) per megawatt of electricity without including other additional expenses.

But Khew said the technology is “proven and is extremely viable.” It pays back within five to seven years depending on what type of anaerobic systems that one is using.

“The green benefits and sustainability of the technology also outweighs the cost,” he said.

The power generated by the plant can then be sold back to the power grid which produces income for the business.

He said some countries pay a premium for energy produced by such methods which, in turn, boosts the growth of waste-to-energy companies.

The Brunei Times