Senawang’s Taman Sri Mawar folk get an assurance that things will get better in October.
Platinum Green Chemicals Sdn Bhd, the company that owns the biodiesel factory that has been fouling up the air and bursting eardrums for the past two years, has promised to clean up its act.
The pledge was made at a meeting yesterday between the company’s representatives and the affected business community.
Senawang State Assemblyman P Gunasekaran was also at the meeting, which Platinum convened following a FMT report about the foul smell and the noise coming from the factory.
“We are aware of the plight of the residents in Taman Sri Mawar,” said Platinum’s executive director, Anbath Shanmugam.
“The smell is actually similar to the smell released by any oil palm refinery plant. It is not hazardous and there are no dangerous chemicals.”
He explained that the smell came from a cooling tower used in one of the factory’s processes and that the company had decided to replace the cooling system with one that uses a vacuum pump.
The new system is expected to be installed in October.
“We can’t guarantee 100% effectiveness, but we are trying our best to overcome the smell problem,” he said.
He said the factory was already making sure that its main raw material, palm oil, was being unloaded in the noon hours because the odour would vaporise more easily in hot weather. Workers are also making sure that the unloading pit is always covered.
Referring to the noise coming from the factory, Anbath said the current level was below the limit allowed by the Department of Environment (DOE).
“We conduct noise tests thrice a year and send the report to DOE,” he said. “The most recent test was on May 3 this year and the result was within the permitted standard.”
CSR programmes hijacked
According to Anbath, the noise is made by steam being released through steel pipes. He said his workers were modifying the system so that the pipes would face away from the Taman Sri Mawar business district and the steam would be channelled into the raw material storage tank. This project would also be completed in October.
Anbath also used the meeting to talk about his company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in Taman Sri Mawar.
He said the company had an aid programme for senior citizens, a reward programme for students who achieve excellent examination results as well as internship programme.
“We are here as Taman Sri Mawar residents’ friends,” he added.
Gunasekaran said he was satisfied with Anbath’s explanation, but was appalled to learn that a political party he did not name had been hijacking Platinum’s CSR programmes as its own.
“I told Platinum Green Chemicals that I’ve served Taman Sri Mawar under my Senawang constituency since March 2008 and I’m aware of all the programmes that Anbath mentioned,” he said.
“But it was today that I knew all these programmes were initiated and funded by Platinum Green Chemicals.”