In July 2019, UTM OTEC, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Institute of Ocean Energy Saga University (IOES), Japan, entered into a research collaboration to develop the first Hybrid Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (H-OTEC) Testing Facility at the International Institute of Aquaculture and Aquatic Science (I-AQUAS) Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Port Dickson , Negeri Sembilan. This project was funded by the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) of Japan and the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) of Malaysia.
H-OTEC technology and system is built in Japan and will be transported and relocated here once the construction of the facility is completed. At this point, the equipment has been completed, while the building facility has just completed the design process and the construction process is expected to begin in September 2021. The construction process of the building will take several months and it is expected that the H-OTEC system from Japan will arrive in Malaysia by early next year.
Why Port Dickson? Although this location does not have the sufficient depth required for an OTEC system to operate, seawater quality and content is required to conduct certain studies, such as studies of the effects of seawater on H-OTEC components – called system optimization and bio-fouling studies. Tap water will be cooled using a chiller to replicate the cold deep seawater, to enable the H-OTEC system to operate. Location of I-AQUAS in this area does offer a logistical advantage. Thus, the collaboration between UTM and UPM is a good synergy amongst public universities under MoHE’s Long Term Research Grant Scheme (LRGS).