French group DCNS has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to develop ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) in the south-east Asian country.


Under the MoA, partners will jointly undertake a pre-feasibility study to identify the potential opportunities for developing a OTEC plant on the Malaysian island of Layang-Layang.

DCNS and UTM OTEC will leverage their expertise and experience to define the technical and commercial feasibility of the game changing technology.

CNS CEO Hervé Guillou said: "DCNS is a long-term naval and maritime partner of Malaysia and the agreement signed with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia OTEC Centre is a step further in our cooperation.

"OTEC is a promising technology for tropical insular territories like Layang-Layang and we are committed to bringing our expertise to identify all the opportunities to develop OTEC projects in the region."

The Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion plant will generate electricity using the difference of temperature that exists in tropical waters between the surface water (about 25°C) and deep water 5°C at a depth of 1,000m.

UTM professor Dato’ Ir Dr Bakar Jaafar said: "The outcome of the study would allow Malaysia to scope the nature and extent of its pioneer OTEC plant to generate electricity or to produce hydrogen fuel, and water."

The island of Layang-Layang has been selected for the development of OTEC as the temperature difference is above 20 degrees throughout the year.

The project is expected to help Layang-Layang to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power plants.

The OTEC technology developed by DCNS, currently being improved in Reunion Island and later installed in real conditions in Martinique, could represent an innovative solution for the development of this new source of energy in Malaysia.

Image: Representatives from DCNS and UTM. Photo: courtesy of DCNS.