Tags Posts tagged with "electricity"


The crude oil price is now close to US$50 per barrel. The price of natural gas has plunged since July 2008. Coal, which at one time was US$192/tonne, is now hovering around US$80/tonne.

Earlier when the prices were soaring, Tenaga Nasional hiked its electricity tariffs on 1 July 2008.

The electricity tariff hike was to cover the gas price increase and to partially offset the rise in coal prices, which had also gone up 170% since 2007, said the TNB chief back then.

Now that fuel prices have fallen, blog reader Desmond is wondering why TNB hasn’t reduced its rates.

When the fuel price went up, Tenaga said their cost had gone up and it hiked the electricity tariff.

Now petrol and gas prices have dropped and even fuel oil and transport costs, shipping charges for coal delivery, and the price of coal itself has gone down in the world markets but why is the Tenaga electricity tariff still so high when it should have gone down as well?

Something is not right here.

There is no reason why Penang and Malaysia cannot become a centre for research into green energy sources, especially solar energy (Photo credit: Wikipedia.org)

I am dismayed that the Cabinet is seriously looking into nuclear energy as an alternative energy source. This excerpt from the NST:

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Fadillah Yusof said another objective of the paper, which outlined the direction of nuclear power, was to enable further studies and plans on the initiative to be carried out by his ministry and the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry.

Faidilah said while nuclear power would only be a reality after 2020, the foundation of the plan and efforts to create awareness of nuclear power needed to start now.

He said it was important for the public to know that nuclear power was safe, environmentally friendly and more affordable in the long run.

What on earth are our energy planners thinking of?

First of all, we have 40 per cent reserve capacity in the peninsula. TNB is now paying capacity charges for electricity it buys from the independent power producers which it doesn’t need.

Then, there is the plan to transmit a huge chunk of the electricity from the Bakun Dam from Sarawak over to the peninsula via undersea cables. But hold on, the submarine cables, which would be the world’s longest, would now cost RM15 billion. Alamak! So how? Sime Darby has already pulled out from the project.

I have always believed that the Bakun Dam has been jinxed, ever since the developers messed with the ancestral lands of the indigenous people and displaced them from the site.

Now we are witnessing a re-run of the scandal involving the second Penang bridge, which we might not even need in the first place. The figures are almost identical – except that for the Bakun Dam, the cost of the undersea cables is quoted in US dollars instead of ringgit.

In the case of the second Penang Bridge, the estimated cost has soared from RM2.7 to close to RM5 billion in a year or so.

In the case of the Bakun undersea cables, according to an Edge report, the cost of the cables has soared from US$2.5 billion (RM8 billion) to US$4.7 billion (RM15 billion), which is the figure quoted by a consortium led by Sumitomo.

UPDATED Tenaga’s employees’ benefits have increased by 81 per cent over the last two years, compared with only a 14 per cent rise in wages and salaries. That’s what a quick look at its financial statements reveals.

The Khazanah head honcho had earlier defended the high salaries paid to the top officials in GLCs in this excerpt from a report in The Star today:

His comments, as reported by Bernama, were in response to comments in blogs that Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) CEO Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh and CFO Datuk Izzadin Idris were getting a huge (an unconfirmed 100%) salary increase.

Oil price hike protest in Ipoh (Source: Unknown; forwarded via email)

So Petronas and the Malaysian government says subsidies distort the market. Of course, the withdrawal of subsidies will encourage conservation of a scarce resource – which is a good thing. It might even reduce pollution and congestion. Roads were noticeablly less congested in parts of Penang and KL today. Traffic on the Penang Bridge heading to the island at 5.20pm – peak time – was smooth; the usual bottleneck after the toll plazas, as the mutiple lanes narrow down to two lanes, was gone.

But has the government given much thought to the impact of the removal of oil subsidies on the poor – and even large segments of the middle-class, who are rapidly moving down to the ranks of the poor in terms of real purchasing power?

One key question has not been answered: why a sudden complete removal and not a gradual phasing out? Come on, tell us how much profit Petronas made for the year ended 31 March 2008. The figures should be available by now, even if the annual report isn’t ready.