Stop building fossil fuel power plants, rakyat already cash-strapped

BUILDING too many fossil fuel-based power plants would burden the cash-strapped Malaysian businesses and consumers.

“On Feb 19, the Southern Power Generation (SPG) power plant at Pasir Gudang, Johor went online, with the capacity of generating 1,440 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

“According to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the total generation capacity in Peninsula Malaysia is nearly 26,000MW but the average daily capacity is below 17,000MW yet. It means that our power reserve margin went up to 35%, above the optimum level of 15% for Peninsula Malaysia.

“We must understand that under our current Independent Power Producers (IPP) module, consumers pay a capacity payment, which means we pay for the power plants whether we use it or not, burning a hole in our pockets,” Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) central committee member Sharan Raj told FocusM.

Under the current economic circumstances, Sharan said that it made little economic sense to burden the public with higher electricity tariff, particularly the business community.

Shareholders thrive while the public suffers

Elaborating, with enterprises being charged for unused power plants, businesses will incur higher costs, resulting in higher production costs.

“For an export-oriented nation like Malaysia, we’re just creating another hurdle. We must understand that the cost of manufacturing is a sensitive thing for manufacturers.

“As for individual consumers, we will be paying for the unused power plants, which will just depress our already-thin purchasing powers, while its shareholders earn a fixed income,” the PSM leader stated.

On that note, Sharan said the problem will persist as there are two more power plants in the pipeline; one in Alor Gajah, Melaka (2,242 MW), scheduled to be fully operational on Oct 18 and the other is the Pulau Indah, Selangor (1,200MW), which will be completed on Jan 1, 2024.

“According to the Energy Commission (ST) report, the electricity reserve margin will reach 48%, or three times more than optimum rate, by end of this year.

“Therefore, my party would like urge the Government to stop the construction new fossil fuel powerplants, which is serious burden to our people and nation,” he remarked. – Feb 25, 2021

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