The original report was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, July 16, 2011
IWK adds value to waste
Indah Water Konsortium manages the sewerage system and is now embarking on green technology
Malaysia’s quest to become a technologically developed nation is evident down to its sewerage systems. Indah Water Konsortium (IWK), a wholly owned company of the Minister of Finance (Inc), is Malaysia’s national sewerage company. Besides developing and maintaining a modern and efficient system for the country, it seeks greater value in wastewater management.
“We’ve been embarking on the concept of sustainability through zero waste management,” explains Datuk Ir Abdul Kadir Mohd Din, CEO of IWK. The company actively pursues pilot projects that employ green technology to convert the by-products of wastewater treatment into usable commodities.
“In the sewerage sector we generate waste, which is reusable and recyclable in the form of solid, liquid and gas. The effluent can be recycled for industrial use in cooling systems. For domestic use, the effluent can be used for flushing toilets, apart from other areas in gardening or landscaping,” Abdul Kadir says.
Sludge or bio-solid, can also be converted into bio-fuel and fertiliser through composting and ‘nanobricks’ – bricks produced using sludge via nano-technology.
The other by-product from treated wastewater is methane gas, which can also be used as an energy source. “The volume of sludge that is generated yearly is equivalent to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Twin Towers. That is a huge volume of sludge that we have and it is untapped. We have ideas, but we have to find ways of marketing them,” comments Abdul Kadir.
He also says that IWK welcomes technology providers to share their know-how to enhance the volume of gas from sludge treatment, and invites them through open tenders under the public-private partnership (PPP) and private finance initiative (PFI) schemes. In 2010, the Government launched a green technology financing scheme and could potentially provide incentives.
“We’re looking for long-term business relationships that benefit the country and support the green concept,” observes Abdul Kadir. “We’re interested in projects that are not only workable but also viable. Only then, a long-term partnership can be fostered.”
Although IWK seeks assistance from the private sector to invest in green technology, the company has turned heads regionally for its own merits in sewerage systems. It boasts a state-of-the-art training centre equipped with actual manholes, septic tanks and sewage treatment plant.
“We’ve been contributing to the wastewater industry abroad, namely Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines on various aspects of sewerage management,” says Abdul Kadir. “We’ve also been invited to conferences and forums to share our values and experiences.”
Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam
total: 329,847 sq km
country comparison to the world: 67
land: 328,657 sq km
water: 1,190 sq km
AREA - comparative:
slightly larger than New Mexico
tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons
tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite
GEOGRAPHY - note:
strategic location along Strait of Malacca and southern South China Sea
Muslim (or Islam - official) 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)
Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai
note: in East Malaysia there are several indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan
28,728,607 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43
name: Kuala Lumpur
31 August 1957 (from the UK)
AGRICULTURE - products:
Peninsular Malaysia - rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah - subsistence crops, coconuts, rice; rubber, timber; Sarawak - rubber, timber; pepper
Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging
$210.3 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$163.2 billion (2009 est.)
$156.6 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
$117.4 billion (2009 est.)