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Greener and sustainable Malaysia via TNB

Publish date: Mon, 29 May 2023, 10:22 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd's (TNB) strategic partnerships with major energy players in Vietnam and Laos are the latest boost to the national power utility company's energy transition journey.

The collaborations with Vietnam's Saigon Gia Dinh Electric and North Power Service, and Electricite Du Laos last week are in line with TNB's goal to be a renewable energy (RE) hub for Asean, cut electricity wastage and achieve Malaysia's goal of net zero carbon emission by 2050.

TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Indera Baharin Din said the collaborations were set to accelerate regional decarbonisation efforts and cater to the increasing demand for cleaner, sustainable energy options.

By combining TNB's strengths and expertise, the company would unlock the vast RE potential in Vietnam and Laos, driving economic growth and the broader energy transition, he said in a statement on Friday.

The partnerships, Baharin added, also aimed at enhancing TNB's RE portfolio and fast-track the expansion of its wholly-owned TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd and the new energy division into Southeast Asia.

TNB has stepped up its energy transition agenda through collaborations with energy players locally and abroad to leverage each other's resources and develop the related infrastructure for RE.

Prior to Vietnam and Laos, the company formed an alliance with Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's visit to the kingdom recently.

Both parties would set up a joint working committee to study the feasibility of a proposed enhancement of the interconnection capacity between Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand. This would thus enhance future multilateral power trade in the region.

TNB is switching to solar energy, hydro and generation technology using hydrogen and ammonia to reduce carbon emissions, thus addressing the issue of climate change and achieve a net zero emission cycle economy.

This is in line with TNB's main responsibility of ensuring safe, reliable and quality electricity supply to more than 9.66 million customers in Peninsular Malaysia, since the days of the National Electricity Board or Lembaga Letrik Negara more than 73 years ago.

Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said Malaysia was on the right track towards clean and renewable energy.

"According to the World Economic Forum's latest Energy Transition Index, Malaysia ranked a respectable 39th, with system performance at 69 per cent and transition readiness at 60 per cent," Nik Nazmi said at the World Consumer Rights Day Seminar on May 8.

Baharin reiterated TNB's commitment to leading the implementation of the energy transition with the aspiration of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the country's agenda to deal with climate change.

"Malaysia sees a need to elevate energy literacy among its citizens. In March 2023, the ministry and TNB launched Malaysia's energy literacy programme.

"By increasing energy literacy, we can promote a generation of Malaysia consumers that understand the importance of energy, are able to think through the sustainability of energy systems and can use energy more effectively and in a responsible manner," he said at the one-day seminar.

Most of TNB's profits are used to develop the company's main assets to further strengthen the country's electricity supply system for the well-being of the general public.

"After privatisation, TNB became one of the most successful GLCs not only in terms of electricity supply services, but also dividends to GLICs. This contribution is very large and it can be enjoyed by the people," said Nik Nazmi recently.

TNB's leading measures to accelerate the energy transition drive include expanding the RE market, strengthenening the national power grid and developing the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem.

All these steps contribute to the well-being of nature in dealing with climate change.

"It is the transformation of electricity generation and the drive of new growth sectors related to energy transition including low carbon mobility, energy storage and new energy such as hydrogen," Nik Nazmi said.

In moving towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050, TNB is committed to achieving the 8,300 megawatts of RE generation target in 2025, followed by a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emission intensity and 50 per cent of its coal generation capacity by 2035.

To fast-track its sustainability agenda, TNB will continue its huge investment in the Grid of the Future, accelerating decarbonisation to increase the enterprise value of its power generation arm, TNB Genco, expanding focus markets to grow its RE portfolio and focusing on electric vehicle ecosystem development.

Analysts said the company was investing around RM20 billion per year over the next 28 years for its "Grid of the Future" initiative to fast-track its objective to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

TNB's regulated base is expected to grow by RM100 billion by then.

Kenanga Research is optimistic about TNB's energy transition plan as it is an aggressive step in addressing its ESG issues, particularly its reliance on coal generation capacity currently that forms a big chunk of the country's CO2 emissions.

"The success of a low carbon mobility future depends on not just the electrification of vehicles, but a higher proportion of RE in TNB's energy generation mix. Towards this end, TNB is embarking on a two-pronged approach i.e. increasing its RE capacity and early retirement of its coal-powered plants," the firm said.

"TNB has said that it is focusing on hydro power, and has also embarked on floating solar studies. It is also seeking to shutter its 1,400 MW Kapar coal plant in Selangor, originally slated to retire in 2029, up to a year ahead of schedule as part of its initiative to achieve 8,300MWac RE capacity by 2025," it added.

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