November 18, 2014, by jgkhor
The Remarkable Collaboration between UNMC, Eureka Synergy Sdn Bhd, Havys Oil Mill Sdn Bhd & Cenergi SEA Sdn Bhd
by CHONG MEI FONG <MeiFong.Chong@nottingham.edu.my> and DENNY NG KOK SUM <Denny.Ng@nottingham.edu.my>
With a view to contributing to the sustainable development of the nation’s biomass sector, a signing ceremony took place on 11 November 2014 to commemorate a successful triple-helix collaboration across academia, industry and Government agency.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), Eureka Synergy Sdn Bhd and Cenergi SEA Sdn Bhd on research and development for integrated waste renewal technologies and water recycling systems for palm oil mills. Concurrently, a contract research agreement worth RM1.65 million was signed between Nottingham MyResearch Sdn Bhd and Havys Oil Mill Sdn Bhd on palm oil mill related research and development initiatives.
Professor Graham Kendall, Chief Executive Officer of Nottingham MyResearch Sdn Bhd, said, “MyResearch is very proud to sign this contract, which is our largest contract to date. We already have a long history of collaborative work with Havys and this further strengthens our excellent relationship.”
TYT Tun Datuk Seri Utama Mohd Khalil bin Yaakob, Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Melaka was present for the signing ceremony as well as to witness the launch of the Centre For Sustainable Palm Oil Research (CSPOR) at UNMC. CSPOR is a multidisciplinary research centre which focuses on palm oil research, from plantation to waste treatment. The vision of this research centre is to be a renowned and relevant industrial hub for sustainable palm oil research.
According to the National Biomass Strategy (NBS) 2020, Malaysia had 83 million dry tonnes of palm biomass in 2012 with an estimated value of RM24.9 billion. This is expected to increase to approximately 100 million dry tonnes by 2020. By combining resources, know-how and capabilities, this joint venture can fully undertake projects large and small to recover and optimise Malaysia’s palm oil waste value.
Dr David Lim Lian Keong, Managing Director of Eureka Synergy Sdn Bhd, said “This collaboration certainly marks a milestone for sustainable palm oil research, particularly palm biomass. Malaysia’s Government has set a national target to reduce 40% of CO2 emissions by 2020. As a matter of fact, the Department of Environment (DOE) has commenced enforcing the mandate for proper waste disposal and treatment for all of Malaysia’s 400 palm oil mills. Hence this is an opportune time for the collaboration to help individual palm oil mills to meet the DOE’s regulatory parameters for appropriate waste treatment.”
Datuk Michael Lim Lian Seng, Managing Director of Havys Oil Mill Sdn Bhd, added, “With the knowledge and expertise of the parties involved in this collaboration, we aim to develop the means to convert renewable energy through various strategies which will subsequently benefit the nation. From a national perspective, the implementation of more biomass and biogas projects will ultimately recover and prevent millions of tonnes of waste from polluting the environment.”
About the Signing Ceremony
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), Eureka Synergy Sdn Bhd and Cenergi SEA Sdn Bhd marked a successful beginning on commercialising the research outputs by our research team from the Faculty of Engineering headed by Professor Chong Mei Fong. In the past 8 years, the team researched on converting effluent discharged from palm oil mills into biogas and further treating the effluent by using biological and physical-chemical methods. Clean water can be recovered from the effluent for recycling and reuse. This project was awarded for the inaugural Research and Knowledge Transfer Award (first prize) by Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham in June 2014.
The contract research agreement (RM1.65 million worth) signed between Nottingham MyResearch Sdn Bhd and Havys Oil Mill Sdn Bhd is an evident of successful university and industry collaboration by taking the advantage of double tax reduction. Following to this signing, a pre-commercialisation plant on biogas generation and water recycling will be built in Havys Oil Mill. This plant is aimed to generate 500 kWh of electricity and recover 95% of water from the palm oil mill effluent (POME) by using the jointly developed technology from UNMC and Eureka Synergy.
About Centre of Sustainable Palm Oil Research (CSPOR)
Viewing the importance of palm oil research in South East Asia, especially in Malaysia, The University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus has decided to set up Centre of Sustainable Palm Oil Research (CSPOR), which is headed by Assoc Prof Dr Denny K. S. Ng. The establishment of CSPOR is strategic to encourage multidisciplinary research in the area of palm oil and its technologies between the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus and other research centres, universities as well as industries partners. This research centre will provide the platform for collaborative research in addressing the industry problems and at the same time, providing the academic and students an avenue for practical research. The outputs of the research can be utilised by industry partners because of its practicality through involvement of industry at the early stage of a research.
With the close collaboration with Eureka Synergy Sdn Bhd, Dr Denny K. S. Ng and Prof Chong Mei Fong, Director and Deputy Director of CSPOR have developed a recovery and regeneration system for palm oil mills, known as “REGEN” System, which convert all available solid biomass and palm oil mill effluent (POME) into value added products. Through this system, additional revenue can be generated for palm oil mills and significant cut of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission are expected.