Sultan Ismail power station decommissioned after 33 years


THE first combined-cycle power station in South-East Asia, Sultan Ismail Power Station (SIPS) in Paka, Terengganu, has been decommissioned on Dec 31, 2019, after 33 years of operation.

According to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), the decommissioning is inevitable as Malaysia is replacing its ageing and inefficient power plants to more advanced, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly plants.

The 1,400MW power station was completed in 1987 and officially launched in 1988 by Almarhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah of Terengganu. During that time, SIPS was the largest combined- cycle power station in the world. The cost of building the power station was RM1.5 billion (or RM2.4 billion, the current value).

“SIPS had left a lasting legacy in TNB’s history. When it was completed, it became the first combined- cycle power station in South- East Asia and the biggest ever built by TNB,” TNB chief generation officer Ir Roslan Abdul Rahman said in a statement yesterday.

It generated electricity using natural gas and oil, with the former as its main fuel. As one of the early users of gas from Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s gas processing plant in nearby Kertih, SIPS had helped spur the oil and gas industry in the state. Direct supply from Kertih through pipeline also rendered lower logistics costs for the power station.

“During its service, SIPS has produced many skilled workers that benefitted from the new technology at the plant. The knowledge they gained at SIPS proved to be useful when they serve other power stations, including those of independent power producers,” he added.

The plants also brought benefits to the communities through various corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. Despite SIPS’s decommissioning, TNB remains committed in sharing its prosperity through various other CSR projects such as firefly conservation in Kampung Yak Yah, Kampung Ibok and Kijal; Baiti Jannati, rebuilding homes for the less fortunate; and My Brighter Future, a conditional bursary programme for students from B40 (bottom 40%) income group families.

SIPS’ 250 staff has also been redeployed to TNB new power stations namely Jimah East Power in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan, and Southern Power Generation in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Until the last day of its service, only Plant 4 of the power station remained operational. Plants 1, 2 and 3 have been decommissioned since 2017.

TNB’s other combined-cycle power plants are Tuanku Jaafar Power Station in Port Dickson, with two blocks of 750MW plants, and Prai Power Station in Seberang Perai, Penang, with a capacity of 1,071MW.