Jimah East power plant to be completed on time, says Minister Ongkili

He also announces that TNB’s 5th Janamanjung power plant has begun its operation on Sept 28, 3 days ahead of schedule

by AFIQ AZIZ / by AFIF ABD HALIM

The Jimah East power plant, slated for operation by December 2019, is expected meet its Commercial Operation Date (COD), said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili (picture).

Acknowledging that there are some issues that are holding back the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) project, Ongkili said he will ensure that the project will be completed according to schedule.

“Although the project is slowly progressing, they have to catch up and meet the deadline. There might be some unexpected circumstances, such as technology supply issue, but it cannot be judged until we meet the COD date,” he said.

“We expect it will be on time,” the minister said at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

At the same press conference, he announced that TNB’s fifth Janamanjung power plant, called Manjung 5, has begun its operation on Sept 28, three days ahead of schedule.

According to Ongkili, the power plant will contribute another 1,000MW in addition to the four existing units.

In April, TNB said that more that 40% of the Jimah East power plant was completed since its first concrete pouring in July 2016.

The project, also known as Project 3B, was initially owned by 1Malaysia Development Bhd until TNB took over 70% in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (Awer) said that it is too early to judge the project’s COD.

Awer president S Piarapakaran said if TNB could not complete the project within the stipulated time, the utility firm will have to inject more capital to complete it or face a penalty from the Energy Commission of Malaysia.

“In 2016, Malakoff Corp Bhd had to pump in an extra RM300 million to speed up Tanjung Bin power plant’s construction and they succeeded. If they failed, they would have been charged a penalty of up to RM108 million,” he said.

“In the case of Jimah East power plant project, they still have two years, thus is too early and premature to predict,” he added.