Malaysia: TNB embarks on co-firing project joint study with Japan’s IHI to advance energy transition agenda

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has embarked on a joint study with Japan’s IHI Corporation (IHI) to pioneer a small-scale co-firing project at its two thermal power plants in Lumut, Perak, and Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

The utility firm said it is undertaking the project through wholly owned subsidiaries TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd and TNB Fuel Services Sdn Bhd.
IHI has extensive experience in converting conventional fuel to carbon neutral fuel, including biomass and ammonia at several plants of its clients in Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, TNB said in a statement on Sunday.

TNB said the co-firing project is currently in the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase that began on Aug 30, 2023, to substantiate the project’s technological viability. This includes finalising technical specifications, determining carbon emissions offset and fuel procurement strategies, and assessing the feasibility of chosen technologies.

“The FEED phase is expected to be completed in April this year, while the initial stage co-firing is expected to take place by the third quarter of 2026, after plant modification works.

“The initiative is in line with TNB’s effective carbon management target of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission 0.35 tonne CO2 per megawatt-hour (t-CO2/MWh) by 2035,” it added.

President and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Baharin Din said the ongoing co-firing project signifies remarkable progress in the company’s commitment to sustainability, as it transitions from laboratory experimentation to actual plant implementation.

“Having successfully demonstrated the burning of 1% biomass, we are now advancing to the next level by introducing1% ammonia and 2% biomass co-firing.

“The co-firing of 1% ammonia and 2% biomass is poised to offset carbon emissions equivalent to 71,000 passenger cars per year, underscoring the tangible environmental impact of this advancement,” he said.

Baharin said this development aligns with TNB’s ambitious 2050 net-zero goals, marking a substantial reduction in carbon emission intensity.

Concurrently, a demonstration of 1% biomass (empty fruit bunch pellet) co-firing was successful at the Tuanku Muhriz Power Station in Port Dickson between Sept 10 and Sept 14, 2023, validating the suitability of co-firing to the local climate.