Tuesday 24 July 2012

Seda: Pua out of line on power study system

The Sustainable Energy Development Authority (Seda) has denied allegations that it has broken the law, pointing out that a Power System Study (PSS) can be conducted even before a company is set up in the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme.

NONE"This study is not in itself reliant on the identity of the applicant for Feed-in Approval (FiA) and may be initiated by the project promoters before a special purpose vehicle is formed for the purpose of the FiA application," Seda chaiprerson Fong Chan Onn (left) said in a statement issued last night.

The authority was responding to Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua, who had questioned whether companies controlled by former chief secretary Mohd Sidek Hassan’s daughter Suzi Suliana and her associates had conducted such research.

Pua had said that it takes 30 days to complete the PSS - a prerequisite for the FiA application -but that eight of 12 companies controlled by Suzi and her associates were only set up 21 days before the application.

Fong clarified that the 30-day period was the maximum time given to the distribution licensee - in this case, Tenaga Nasional Bhd - to complete the PSS.

"It is possible to complete a PSS in a much shorter period.... All FiAs were only granted by Seda after the requisite PSS reports were uploaded into the e-FiT online system," he said.

He did not specifically touch on Suzi's companies or whether they had conducted the PSS.

NONEPua had yesterday also taken Seda to task over its initial explanation which revealed that some companies only had a paid-up capital of RM2, because it would be unfair to expect huge investments in advance when they do not know if their application would be successful.

“The statement comes as a complete shock as the application form (for FiT) very specifically states that the companies must have secured financing for the project,” Pua was quoted as saying.

"In fact, the form states that the applicant's bank account statement must show ‘a credit balance of at least 20 percent of the total capital cost of the renewable energy installation’."

'Proven financial capability'

However, Fong stressed that all applicants had already proven their financial capability prior to the issuance of FiAs.

NONE"All applicants were issued with FiAs only after they had provided documentary evidence relating to their financial capability to fund the project, including, where relevant, the capability of ... partners in the case of joint-venture companies," he said.

He said Seda could not disclose the financial evidence as this is confidential information.

Fong also took a swipe at Pua, stating that the DAP national publicity chief had been irresponsible by not first seeking clarification from Seda.

“Seda Malaysia welcomes constructive criticism but takes the view that these uninformed, unwarranted and unjustified allegations will be detrimental to the development of the renewable energy industry," he added.

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