Malaysia utility plans hydro spending, vies for work on 2,400-MW Bakun

Malaysia utility Tenaga Nasional expects to invest more than 2 billion ringgit (US$603 million) in hydroelectric and thermal power plants in 2008 to help meet electricity demand growth of 6 to 6.5 percent.

Additionally, Tenaga Chief Executive Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the company hopes to win a contract for operation and maintenance of the 2,400-MW Bakun hydroelectric project upon its completion in 2010 in Malaysia’s Sarawak State.

Che Khalib said December 13 that Tenaga expects to make capital expenditures in 2008 of 4 billion to 4.5 billion ringgit (US$1.2 million to US$1.4 billion). Nearly half that amount will be spent on distribution facilities, with the rest earmarked for a 750-MW combined-cycle plant and for additional hydroelectric plants Tenaga wants to build, he said.

Earlier this month, Che Khalib said work is to begin by mid-2008 on the 300-MW Hulu Jelai and 300-MW Hulu Terengganu hydroelectric projects on the Malay Peninsula. The projects are to be completed by 2013 at a cost of 2.5 billion ringgit (US$750 million). (HNN 12/7/07)

Tenaga also said it submitted a proposal to work with Malaysian builder Sime Darby in operating and maintaining the Bakun hydroelectric project.

Sime Darby announced in November that it received approval from the government to buy a 60 percent stake in the Bakun project developer, Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, and that it planned to begin stake acquisition talks. (HNN 12/3/07) Sime Darby also announced it received government approval to take a 60 percent stake in a firm being set up to lay the multi-billion ringgit undersea cable that would link Bakun to mainland Malaysia.

“We have submitted our proposal to Sime Darby for them to consider us to be included as one of their operation and maintenance contractors,” Che Khalib said. “We leave it to them whether they want to choose us.”

Business daily Malaysian Reserve quoted Che Khalib as being confident of winning the operation and maintenance contract in view of the utility’s vast experience in the power sector.

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