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NIBONG TEBAL, PENANG, 16 May 2017 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) looks forward to be among the pioneers in renewable energy upon receiving a biomass power plant within its premises, which has the potential to be an attraction to students and researchers from all over the country. 

According to the USM Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk Dr. Asma Ismail, the biomass power plant is part of a contribution from Visdamax (M) Sdn. Bhd. (VISDAMAX), being an outcome of a cooperation between USM and the industry.

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“USM is a university focusing on sustainability and we are all responsible towards ensuring a sustainable environment around us,” said the Vice-Chancellor at the ceremony for the handing-over of the power plant from VISDAMAX to USM.

“Through this cooperation, we could utilise the waste from the oil palms, which are available in abundance. They could be used to generate renewable energy which is among our focus areas, as how it has been realised, through the effort of the USM School of Mechanical Engineering (PPKM) together with VISDAMAX,” added Asma.

“The biomass power plant, costing at RM1.5 million which uses three types of gasifiers, functions as a reactor that converts solid biomass into gas, to run petrol and diesel engines,” said the Dean of PPKM, Professor Dr. Zainal Alimuddin Zainal Alauddin.

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“This plant is able to produce 30,000kWh electricity per month from the use of waste available on the campus grounds, which leads to savings in the use of electricity to about RM8,000 every month,” he added.

The Managing Director of VISDAMAX, OC Yeoh believes that the collaboration with USM would result in the effective use of the power plant, while reducing the air pollution and the practice of open burning.

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“VISDAMAX has created a specified burner to cater to the requirements at USM and which would be used on-site at a later time,” he added.

Also present were the Director of USM Engineering Campus, Professor Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria, together with staff and lecturers from PPKM.

Translation: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

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