Wednesday 8 June 2011

TNB passes the buck on PPAs

National electricity company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has shied away from explaining its position in power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with independent power producers (IPPs).

tenaga nasional and electricity 031208In response to queries, the TNB corporate communications department would only say that the company is “unable” to comment, and referred Malaysiakini to the Economic Planning Unit and Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

Yesterday, the Association of Independent Power Producers had denied benefiting from gas subsidies and said prices are billed at a predetermined rate set by the government.

It called on Malaysians to be “rational and objective” and to engage industry players through dialogue.

azlanThe PPAs were initially believed to be under EPU purview. However, the ministry has refuted this, describing it as an agreement signed by private entities.

These legal contracts are bound by a non-disclosure clause, and which have long been criticised as being lopsided and in favour of the IPPs.

Yesterday, the International Trade and Industry deputy minister Mukhriz Mahathir said details would be provided to parliamentarians if they raise the issue in the Dewan Rakyat, but that these will not be extended to the public.

Public interest in the PPAs has grown with the recent government decision to slash subsidies on goods and services.

The price of gas will go up by RM3 per mmBtu every six months up to December 2015, before it is allowed to float with the market level from 2016.

Whether electricity tariffs - which have gone up since June 1 - will be further increased alongside this has yet to be resolved.

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