Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SESB unaware of 1MDB's plan to be major player in Sabah power sector?

Really? Maybe, but for a big news such as this, it is unlikely that the power utility has no knowledge of.

                               Daily Express, Sunday, 2 November 2014

It was earlier reported that Sabah was looking at 3 new power plants with 1MDB expected to secure two:

  • A 400MW gas-fired plant to be located either in Lahad Datu or Sandakan, and
  • A hydro plant in Ulu Padas which is expected to generate 180MW of power

If 1MDB is to be in any way involved with the implementation of these projects, or any power projects in the state, we'd better make sure that it is done in an open bidding process, in line with the government's transparency policy. We do not want to see another lop-sided power purchase agreement with an IPP.

On whether we will have sufficient power in the near future, this is what the power utility has to say:

"Currently, with 2new Independent Power Producers (IPPs) operating in Kimanis - Kimanis Power Sdn Bhd (KPSB) operating 190MW and SPR Energy (100MW) - there is still a comfortable reserve margin of more than 25%. Another 95MW is due to come on stream at KPSB by early next month, which would be sufficient to meet the power requirement for the next one to two years." - Bernama, 1 November 2014

That's good to know. But with many ageing equipment in its keeping, it looks like we are more of doing 'fire fighting' than building reserve margin.

Speaking of transparency, 1MDB had an attempt at bulldozing a big solar farm in Kedah back in April this year. This was supposed to be the largest solar farm in the country with generating capacity of 50MW.

We have no update yet if this has gone into implementation but if it has, then this is robbery. Or in a more polite term, the least fair play in the so called 'electronic bidding' mechanism for solar quota.

                                                The Star, 23 April 2014

The Green Mechanics:

We have nothing against 1MDB making a mark here. In fact this would benefit the people in term of direct investment into the state, and eventually better power for the consumers. But it must be transparent and fair to the other players.

Reference: Bernama

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