PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will raise RM5bil from a 20-year ringgit-denominated sukuk issuance at the end of next month to finance the extension of its Janamanjung power plant.

This comes at a time when the national utility company is facing a severe gas supply shortage that may result in it incurring additional fuel cost.

In a Bernama report on Thursday, TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohd Noh said the group would do its book-building exercise in the third week of October. “The timing is good as the domestic market is now flush with liquidity,” he said.

In April, TNB awarded French group Alstom a 650-million-euro (RM2.8bil) contract to build the Janamanjung 1,000-MW supercritical coal-fired power plant.

Alstom will engineer, procure, construct and commission a 1,000-MW steam turbine, a generator, a supercritical boiler and auxiliaries. The plant is expected to come online in 2015.

The plant will be the single largest in South-East Asia and will produce enough electricity to power nearly two million households in the country.

The project follows TNB's 1999 contract with Alstom to build the currently operating 2,100-MW Manjung coal-fired power plant.

The supercritical power plant operates at a higher temperature than regular coal-fired power plants. Its high temperature increases the pressure at which it operates, which in turn improves its efficiency, increasing the amount of power output and decreasing emission per unit of fuel burned.

Meanwhile, TNB is still bogged down by cost concerns whereby it may incur additional fuel costs of up to RM3bil.

On Tuesday, Che Khalib said the company's fourth-quarter performance would be weak and his earnings estimate for 2011 had gone haywire and had been cut by more than 50%, marred by a continued gas supply shortage.

Analysts have said the gas shortage might only be permanently resolved by the second half of 2012, when Petronas Gas' regasification terminal in Malacca was operational and Malaysia started importing liquefied natural gas at market prices.


Posted by Mr Thx Sunday, September 18, 2011


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