Wednesday 15 June 2011

Disclose Tanjong Bin power plant deal, says DAP

The DAP is increasing pressure on the government to disclose full details of the Energy Commission's (EC) awarding of the concession to build a 1,000MW coal-fired power plant in Tanjong Bin, Johor.

The concession was given to independent power producer (IPP) Malakoff Bhd, after the EC had reportedly considered another proposal from Jimah Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd.

Malakoff, a subsidiary of tycoon Syed Mokhtar Albukhary's MMC Corp Bhd, also operates Southeast Asia's biggest coal-fired plant plant, a 700MW facility, in Tanjong Bin.

NONEThe DAP's Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua today asked why the EC only invited proposals from two IPPs, instead of calling for an open tender.

The opposition, as well as national power producer Tenaga Nasional Bhd chairperson Ani Arope, have hit out at the administration for raising the electricity tariffs but without first restructuring the lucrative IPP sector.

"It is obvious that only through a competitive tender exercise can the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the man-on-the-street, enjoy efficiently produced electricity at the lowest possible price," Pua said.

"In light of public interest in the deal, the government through the EC or Energy, Water and Green Technology Minister Peter Chin must immediately disclose the full details of the concession agreement.

"In addition, it is crucial for the government to demonstrate why the Malakoff proposal is preferred over Jimah Venture's proposal," Pua said.

He also called on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to prove the sincerity of his claim that the IPPs were not benefiting from the June 1 hike in gas prices and electricity tariffs.

The government approved of an average of 7.12 percent increase in electricity tariffs and said only households that use more than 300kWh of electricity a month would be affected by the increase - and that 70 percent of the country's population would not be affected.

"The government must tell how much the coal-powered plant will be subsidised, the electricity rate that will be charged to TNB as well as any formula for future adjustments of tariff rates," he said.

Pua also called on Najib to explain why millions of ringgit worth of projects were being handed out through direct negotiations despite the government's promise to open them up for competitive bidding.

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