UOB’s green lending quest to facilitate M’sia’s transition to cleaner energy

ON the back of Malaysia’s increasing demand for electricity, UOB Malaysia is stepping up a notch by contributing to the country’s transition towards cleaner energy through its support of power plants with lower environmental impact.

To increase the national power capacity mix, the bank is committed in supporting the development of projects that use efficient sources of energy such as natural gas and renewables.

Power generation in the country is projected to grow by an average of 3.2% annually to reach 47.8 gigawatts (GW) by the end-2028 with the Klang Valley region accounting for the highest electricity demand in Peninsular Malaysia.

“With the central region seeing higher electricity consumption growth rates, there is a need to increase capacity through the construction of power plants that are more efficient and more sustainable,” commented UOB Malaysia’s managing director and country head of wholsesale banking Ng Wei Wei.

“To this end, UOB Malaysia is committed to supporting projects that will help the country make the transition to natural gas and renewables.”

UOB Malaysia was a co-financier in a Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i facility for the recently-announced 1,200 megawatt (MW) combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Pulau Indah, Selangor.

Upon completion in 2024, the power plant – a joint venture between Worldwide Holdings Bhd and Korea Electric Power Corporation – is expected to meet the demand in the Klang Valley region in a more sustainable manner.

This is because a natural gas power plant has higher energy efficiency and emits 50-60% less carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour than a typical coal plant.

Moving forward, UOB Malaysia believes that the country will continue to increase renewable sources in its energy capacity mix to 20% by 2025, particularly solar power.

This projection is underpinned by the recent announcement of new power plant constructions under the Large Scale Solar (LSS) 4 programme by the Energy Commission.

Solarvest Holdings Bhd, an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) partner in UOB Malaysia’s U-Solar programme , was one of the LSS4 successful bidders .

UOB Malaysia also supported two solar power plant projects – the Sinar Kamiri Power Plant located in Sungai Siput, Perak and the Kenyir Gunkul Power Plant located in Dungun, Terengganu – under the previous LSS programmes.

“Although gas and thermal power sources continue to power the country’s electricity demand substantially, the future looks bright for the construction of solar power plant projects,” opined Ng.

“We are positive that the solar power plant projects under the LSS programmes, including that by Solarvest’s under its successful bid, will further accelerate Malaysia’s pace of achieving its renewable energy capacity target.” – April 15, 2021

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