2018-09-10 09:53:26

Malaysian government urged to review ¡®fast track¡¯ large-scale solar projects

Malaysian government urged to review ‘fast track’ large-scale solar projects

The Malaysian Photovoltaic Industry Association (MPIA) is urging the newly elected Malaysian government to expedite rooftop solar energy systems because of their potential energy generating capacity, and at the same time to address “serious shortcomings” within the business that were previously swept under the carpet, particularly those involving so-called “fast track” large-scale solar contracts that were not competitively tendered.
These relate especially to the development of large-scale solar (LSS) photovoltaic (PV) plants within the one megawatt to 50 megawatt range, to be connected to the transmission of distribution networks in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Labuan.
Introduced in March 2016, the programme saw two rounds of competitive bidding processes, which were subsequently conducted by the Energy Commission (EC), to meet its target capacity for LSS projects of 1000 megawatt by 2020. Annual capacity is capped at 200mwac for Peninsular Malaysia and 50mwac for Sabah over 2017 to 2020.
Among companies awarded were Tenaga Nasional Bhd, tasked with completing a 50mw solar power plant in Sepang, Selangor; Mudajaya Group Bhd for a 49mw solar plant at Kuala Kangsar in Perak; and Integrated Logistics Bhd for a 10 megawatt solar plant at Bandar Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah.
According to MPIA however, serious shortcomings and several malpractice in the implementation of the programme had emerged over the years, including the securing of contracts on a “fast track basis” where several politically connected companies had managed to secure a large chunk of allocated quota.
“What was more disturbing was that tariffs offered were about 25 per cent higher than those tendered by companies under an open and competitive bidding process,” the association said in a statement recently.
MPIA said the unfair practice continued in the form of multiple deadline extensions even though the companies had failed to complete the projects within the stipulated