Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am a Production Planner

Posting kali menyentuh sedikit fasal my work.
I have been a production planner for the production of electricity for Peninsular Malaysia since 1994. Basically, I forecast for optimal use of fuel for Malaysia. In order to produce electricity, we need to have a balance of generation mix. There are 4 fuel used for electricity generation namely gas, coal, oil and hydro.

There is another fuel that has been promoted by many people, that is renewable energy from biomass, wind and solar; but these methods are expensive and will contribute to less than 0.2% of the current generation mix.

Back to the main fuel, gas is the biggest mix at the moment. Malaysia is blessed with natural gas and 59% of the mix comes from gas. The problem with gas forecast is you need to get it right. As gas being extracted from the earth, it will be straight-away be processed and transported for electricity generation. There is no storage of gas for electricity generation except in the main transported gas pipeline.

Next comes coal. It contributed to 35% of the total mix. Problem with coal is that it is 100% imported fuel and the supply chain is very long. We need to forecast the coal 3 months before we consume it because from the mine, it has to be crushed to a predetermined size, then transported via lorry to the nearest river. From the river, it is being transported to the loading port before it is being loaded to a huge vessel. Then the vessel will transport it to the coal power station to be stocked in the station coal stockyard before being burned in the station boiler. All the process chain from mine to generation takes 3 months.

Next comes hydro, which contributes to 5% of the mix. For hydro, there must be a plan as the dam will be replenish in the monsoon months (Nov-Jan), and we have to plan for the generation from Feb-Oct wisely. We need to plan not to use too much, as the dam can dry-up. If we use too little, then when big rain comes during the monsoon season, the dam will overflow, and there goes the water down the spillway thus the famous remark "money down the drain".

The remaining 1% of generation comes from oil. Oil is used as a backup fuel in case there is gas/coal being cutailed by suppliers.

So, the carbon fuel comes in 3 forms (solid-coal), liquid (Oil & hydro) and (gaseous-natural gas). My job is to ensure that the country will have adequate fuel for electricity generation. I always liase with fuel suppliers and finance managers as there is a huge amount of money that has to be allocated to purchase fuel for electricity generation.

Allah is Great in giving us humans fuel to benefit our life. Surah Imran: 191 "dan mereka memikirkan tentang ciptaan langit & bumi, lalu berkata - Ya Tuhan kami, tidaklah Kau ciptakan semua ini dgn sia-sia sahaja, Maha Suci Kau & lindungilah kami dari azab api neraka"
Praise be to Allah.


Rohi Jas said...

Question: What if you just let the extra water produce the electricity anyway? I'm sure there'll be suckers for extra electricity somewhere.

ibnujusup said...

saye ade terbaca yg kerajaan akan mempertimbangkan penggunaan nuklear untuk menjana eektrik... mungkin lame lagi ??