Tawau Green Technology will develop a 30MW geothermal power plant in Apas Kiri, Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia.

The development of the geothermal plant, which is said to be the country’s first of its kind, follows completion of extensive research, which indicated the existence of an active geothermal system on Apas Kiri.

Power generated from the plant will be supplied to Sabah Electricity, an 80% owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and 20% by the State Government of Sabah, under the Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) scheme.

Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia (SEDA) said in statement: "The geothermal energy technology is considered as both very green with extremely low carbon footprints and has very high availability and reliability rate as clearly demonstrated in other operating plants worldwide.”

Malaysia Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that the drilling had reached a depth of 1,449m, where the temperature recorded had already exceeded 200°C.

Ongkili added: "This result confirmed an earlier magnetotelluric (MT) study on the technical potential of geothermal in Apas Kiri that was conducted earlier both by TGE geologist as well as by the Mineral and Geoscience Department Malaysia."

Scheduled to be commissioned by June 2018, the project has now been installed with two geothermal well pads while the third well pad is currently under construction.

Malaysia plans to have 2,080MW of installed renewable energy capacity by the end of 2020 in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

Ongkili further noted: "Geothermal has the potential to contribute to the energy balancing market and this will be important when variable renewable energy (such as solar and wind) increases in the energy mix.”