As executive director of Cenergi SEA since October 2015, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has infused leadership and experience in the organisation’s work. His previous stints at Malakoff and affiliations with other power producers such as the Central Electricity Generating Co in Jordan has helped this electrical and electronic engineering graduate understand the nature of the business – one that is becoming increasingly important in an energy-hungry world. His current remit is a simple one, where success is measured via the reduction of carbon footprint and growth in shareholder value.

Cenergi SEA is a morally correct business in our mission to reduce carbon footprint.

Sustainability in everything is the only way we can make the world better and our commitment is to find ways to reuse and recycle instead of digging into the earth for resources.

Malaysia is blessed with a lot of biomass and biogas.

We work with the palm oil industry to recover methane in the best possible way; using a highly effective strain of bacteria to accelerate the gathering of methane from palm oil mill effluents (POME). We then scrub and clean the methane for use in gas engines. The exhaust from the gas engines is carbon dioxide and water, a much less harmful gas than methane. (Methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas if it is released into the atmosphere.)

We are developing a combustion technology that will burn the empty fruit bunches (EFB) – a by-product of the palm oil industry.

We aim to find a way to reduce and eliminate slagging in the boilers, which is an accumulation of silicate and sludge when EFB are incinerated as fuel. Finding the right temperature and technology will take time.

The lowest hanging fruit for us is simply in becoming more energy efficient. We are working with large institutions and building owners to reduce energy consumption through efficiency exercises such as switching off large banks of light when not in use.

Like any business, we want to create value and we see ourselves as developers and investors in building green resources.

Any sustainable efforts in Malaysia and South-east Asia that make sense is an opportunity for us. Our partnerships with technology providers are important as are the people around us who are willing to look into growing their businesses sustainably.

A few years ago, I was riding in a friend’s car in Austria on a hot summer’s day.

He stopped by a chemist and immediately turned off his engine. This is good practice and I see a lot of awareness among the European and Nordic communities. In Germany, renewable energy contributes to nearly half of all the country’s consumption.

For me, the best career lesson is to do your best.

We are never too late for anything provided we start now. Not starting – as in the case of clean energy – will mean that we are too late to save the world.

Source: Robb Report

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