Putrajaya says technology good, not construction and operation

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KUALA LUMPUR: Putrajaya insisted yesterday that “there is nothing wrong” with the technology used for incinerators on several islands and in the highlands but the fault lies in the construction and operation.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said there were no problems in terms of the technology, as it has been used for decades.

“The problem lies in the construction and operational process and I am working to resolve this, which I hope [to do] soon,” he told Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Serdang) during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat, stressing that the project was not a failure.

In December last year, Ong asked Putrajaya to explain the rationale in awarding the contracts to build incinerator plants to XCN, a firm with no track record.

The company was also accused of using autogenous combustion technology (ACT), which Ong said is “unproven technology” at its plants on Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman and in Cameron Highlands, which resulted in considerable construction and operational delays.

Last week, Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed called on the ministry to take “appropriate action” against the negligence displayed by several people, including the ministry’s secretary-general, the director-general of the National Solid Waste Management Department as well as the contractor XCN Technology over the delays and failure to adhere to the specifications.

In a report tabled in Parliament, the PAC said it found that an evaluation committee under the department had decided on the project based only on the proposal paper.

“This evaluation committee had not done the ‘due diligence’ by visiting the site of the pioneer project at the Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council and Perwaja Steel, as well as the prototype in UiTM Shah Alam,” the report read.

Nur Jazlan, the Pulai MP, said that based on the explanation given by the ministry, there was no “strong justification” of its evaluation on the success of the previous prototypes as those projects had either failed or had no records.

He had said the government had decided to award the contract for four incinerator plants to the company through direct negotiations despite the use of unproven technology.

“This was not an accurate decision as XCN does not own the local technology, which actually belongs to Clean Earth Technology Sdn Bhd.” — The Malaysian Insider


This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 20, 2014.