Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thailand earmarks $1.98b for Suvarnabhumi expansion


Thailand's Cabinet has approved an investment budget of US$1.98 billion, proposed by Airports of Thailand, for the expansion of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Transport Minister Sophon Zaram said of the total budget for the expansion programme, to be implemented between the fiscal years 2011-2016, $1.42 billion will be financed by the company's internal cashflows and $553.35 million by offshore borrowings.

Under the approved budget, Airports of Thailand will build a midfield satellite building and expand the existing terminal building, which will boost passenger capacity to 60 million from 45 million at present.

Project rollout too slow, say Malaysia builders

Btimes 26/8/2010

The government needs to step up implementation of the remaining stimulus package projects so that there will be more jobs in the market, says Master Builders Association of Malaysia.

The government has to roll out projects faster to achieve the targeted average growth rate of 5 per cent a year over the next five years, says Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM).

"In the last four quarters, total value of new construction projects awarded has declined," newly-elected MBAM president Kwan Foh Kwai said.

Bank Negara Malaysia's statistics indicate that the construction sector registered 8.7 per cent growth in the first quarter of this year, but it slowed to 4.1 per cent in the second.

"If we're not vigilant, the construction sector's growth will continue to slow down, stagnate or, worse, shrink like in 2004, 2005 and 2006," he said.

"The government needs to step up implementation of the remaining stimulus package projects so that there will be more jobs in the market," Kwan told Business Times in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.

He cited as example the light rail transit (LRT) extension packages which were supposed to have been awarded a year ago. It was reported that Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd will give out the contracts only at the end of this year.

"The government must step up project rollouts because it will help transform the construction sector into a performance-based and productivity-driven one. We want sustainable growth for the construction industry."

Well-paced project implementation will help ensure sufficient industrial building components and skilled labour supply at any given time.

Kwan cautioned that if nothing was done to jump-start the current slowdown in job flows, many people would suffer. That is because the economic multiplier effects on the construction and housing industry support as many as 120 types of businesses, ranging from contractors, engineers and architects to building material suppliers.

Gloomy outlook for the industry aside, Kwan also lamented the shortage of skilled workers.

"We don't have enough experienced supervisors at the worksite," he said.

"For a start, we seek help from the government to train more foremen and supervisors."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TNB offered to develop 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant

The Star 25/8/2010
KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has been offered by the Government to develop the first unit of 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant on its existing power plant site in Manjung Perak.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, TNB said the concession was to build, own and operate the coal-fired plant.

It said the plant was expected to commence operation on March 1, 2015.

Earlier, the Energy Commission (EC) had said it hoped the Government would identify a power company that would build up an additional 1,000 MW of electricity by the end of January next year.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said there was an urgency to finalise the project as there would be a power shortage in 2015. This was because the initial 1,600 MW that was supposed to be transmitted to the peninsula from the Bakun dam had been scrapped thus creating a potential shortage and the need for a new plant.

Earlier this month, Tajuddin had said that three sites for power plants were shortlisted by the Energy Commission for the Government to consider. These were the existing Tanjung Bin power plant in south Johor (owned by MMC Corp Bhd), Jimah plant in Negri Sembilan (Jimah Power) and Manjung power plant in Perak (TNB) – for the new plant.
The offer by the Government to TNB has come earlier than expected as the Government was supposed to make its decision on the suggested sites only by next January.
TNB said the development of the project was subject to approval from Department of Environment (DOE) in relation to the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) and EC’s approval. It added that TNB would ensure compliance to the DEIA study in order to meet the latest clean air regulations (CAR).

The use of the supercritical technology would considerably reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emission, particulate emissions, nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxides emissions with the added benefit of much reduced coal consumption due to the higher efficiency of the supercritical boiler, it said. “We will comply with all the requirements of CAR and obtain the necessary approval for the DEIA from the DOE, before commencing construction of this strategic power plant, TNB said in a statement.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BOV sets sights on Philippine airport project

BTImes 18/8/2010

A MALAYSIAN consortium, BriSteel Overseas Ventures Inc (BOV), has expressed interest to undertake a project to enlarge the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Terminal 2 (DMIAT2) in the Clark Free Port Zone in Pampanga province, the Philippines.

A high-level delegation from BOV, led by its managing director William Chee, met with senior Philippine government leaders, including vice-president Jejomar C Binay and executive secretary Jojo Ochoa, recently to officially register its readiness to carry out the project.

Chee said the consortium, consisting of a group of major government-linked and private firms, is ready to invest some US$150 million (RM475.5 million) on the project.

Under the proposed DMIAT2 expansion, the airport's capacity will be increased to seven million passengers per annum.

"BOV is committed to assisting the Philippines in developing the DMIAT2 as an alternative, premier international gateway to the Philippines," he said, adding that the Philippine authorities were receptive to its proposal.

A special briefing on the proposal was also conducted by BOV in collaboration with the Pampanga Media Group at Clark for local business communities. Officiating the briefing, Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim said BOV's interest on the project was testimony of the existing cordial ties between Malaysia and the Philippines. Ibrahim said the Malaysian consortium has experience in developing and operating airports in Asean countries, the Middle East and India. He assured that all foreign projects implemented by private firms from Malaysia are closely monitored by the Malaysian government.

Mabalacat mayor and Metro Clark advisory council chairman Morino Morales welcomed the BOV's proposal, saying that the development of DMIA will boost the local economy enormously. He said considering the presence of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway, Clark Airport and other infrastructure projects, the town will develop into a bustling city like Makati.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New power plant to be identified

The Star, 12/8/2010
KUALA LUMPUR: The Energy Commission (EC) hopes to identify the power company that will plant up an additional 1,000MW of electricity by the end of January next year.

“A decision is imminent for the construction of the first plant of up to 1,000MW,’’ chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali told StarBiz yesterday.

Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali “We are still in the consultative process, evaluating the proposals submitted by three bidders of existing sites – Tenaga Nasional Bhd (Janamanjung), Malakoff Bhd (Tanjung Bin) and Jimah Power Sdn Bhd (Jimah).

“We will pick the winner the latest by the end of January next year. The winner this round has to ensure that the plant will be operational by the first quarter of 2015,’’ he added.

Each of these existing sites have the space for two more generating units of 1,000MW each, said Tajuddin.

“It is more economical to build on these existing sites and tap on their existing facilities,’’ he said, referring to the first unit being planned.

Based on an expected 6% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per year, there is a projected power shortage in 2015 as initially 1,600MW was supposed to be transmitted via undersea cables to the peninsula from the Bakun Dam in Sarawak.

Greenfield projects is a possibility, but they take time to become operational, so they will not be able to meet the peninsula’s urgent power needs by 2015-2016.

Electricity consumption per capita in Malaysia now stands at about 3,412 kWh per annum, significantly higher than most developing countries, but still below the average in developed countries.

It is projected to more than double to 7,571 kWh per person in 2030, higher than that of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation region average of 6,833 kWh per person.

“Implementation must be carried out in the next 3 to 4 years,’’ he said, adding that a major criterion was to have a reserve margin of 20%. Among other factors, the speed at which financing can be secured by these bidders would also be considered.

Due to the limited gas supply in the long term, the commission had decided on a coal-fired plant which can be completed in 42 months. “We are a consequential planner. Since the Government has targeted a GDP growth of 6% per year under the 10th Malaysia Plan, we have to plan for the anticipated growth in energy demand,” he said.

“We need to plan for that ... no one can say it’s not going to happen (the targeted GDP growth); at the Electricity Commission, we have to be prepared to meet the future power requirement,” he added.

(Electricity demand is positively linked to a country’s GDP growth).

Still, the winner of the first round of tender can only supply 1,000MW. There’s still a gap of at least 600MW to be filled as Bakun is not providing the power.
“So, there is a need for a second plant,’’ he said.

This second plant can be a greenfield project which would take longer to plan,’’ he said, adding that it would involve site investigations and compliance with environmental requirements.

San Miguel in talks on Clark airport project

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp said it was in talks to join a locally-owned consortium that will bid for a state contract to upgrade an international airport north of the capital, reported Reuters.

The company told the stock exchange it was looking at joining the Philco Aero Group in seeking the contract for the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), a former US military airbase at Clark.

It was earlier reported Korea Airports Corp would acquire a five percent stake in Philco Aero Group. It said the consortium also included Posco Engineering and Construction, Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers and Korea Development Bank.

The government wants to expand the capacity of DMIA, which currently caters mostly to budget airlines, but has yet to decide whether to make it the country's main international gateway, replacing Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In April, San Miguel agreed to buy a majority stake in Caticlan International Airport Development Corp, which operates the airport nearest to Boracay island in central Philippines, a popular tourist destination.

The 120-year old San Miguel has been aggressively diversifying into heavy industry, including power, mining, oil refining and telecommunications and infrastructure.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Malaysia lokasi loji tapis minyak Putrana

15 disember 2008 utusan online

KUALA LUMPUR 14 Dis. - El-One Resources Sdn. Bhd. (El-One Resources), pemilik utama loji penapisan minyak Putrana telah melabur sebanyak n 6.5 bilion (RM30.16 bilion) bagi memastikan kejayaan projek loji penapisan itu.

Pengerusi Eksekutifnya, Mohammad Saraei berkata, selain menyediakan modal atau dana syarikat juga telah memeterai perjanjian dengan Hampa Engineering Corporation (Hampa) bagi menyediakan teknologi terkini loji penapisan minyaknya.

''Hampa merupakan syarikat kejuruteraan terkenal Iran akan menyediakan teknologi terkini berkaitan loji penapisan itu dan juga akan bertindak membantu sepenuhnya dalam menentukan reka bentuk, penyelidikan sehingga loji tersebut siap sepenuhnya.

''Setakat ini, kami telah mengenal pasti dua lokasi yang akan menempatkan loji penapisan minyak ini iaitu di Johor Bahru dan Terengganu. Kami masih lagi menunggu keputusan pihak berkuasa tempatan kedua-dua negeri itu,'' katanya.

Saraei berkata demikian kepada pemberita selepas majlis menandatangani perjanjian antara El-Resources dan Hampa di sini, baru-baru ini.

Tambah Saraei, loji penapisan minyak Putrana direka bentuk dengan kapasiti untuk mengeluarkan 230,000 tong minyak sehari.

''Dengan menggunakan teknologi terkini dalam reka bentuk kejuruteraan dan kaedah pembinaan, loji ini dijangka siap pada tempoh masa yang singkat dan dengan kos optimum,'' jelasnya.

Katanya, projek loji penapisan tersebut bakal menyediakan peluang pekerjaan secara terus sebanyak 1,800 dan 4,000 peluang pekerjaan secara tidak langsung.

''Loji tersebut juga akan menyediakan kompleks jeti dan terminal minyak yang sesuai untuk mengimport dan eksport produk kami.

''Fasa pertama projek itu akan melibatkan 10 juta meter persegi dan akan ditambah kepada 20 juta meter persegi pada masa hadapan,'' katanya.

Selain itu, lokasi loji penapisan minyak itu turut menyediakan kawasan kediaman pekerja termasuk pusat membeli belah, hospital, sekolah kompleks sukan serta kemudahan hiburan, katanya.

PTP, Johor port merger plan fails

10 August 2010

The failed rationalisation of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Johor Port may not affect the performance of MMC Corp much, but it does bring up the question of what will happen to PTP and its expansion plans, reported Business Times.

Combined operations of the two ports contributed about 14 per cent of the group's revenue last year.

MMC Corp made a net profit of US$75.46 million on revenue of $2.67 billion in the financial year ended December 31, 2009.

"I doubt that any analyst has factored in the rationalisation of the two ports into MMC Corp's valuations. So it does not really affect the stock," said an analyst, who declined to be named.

According to OSK Research head of research Chris Eng, PTP has started dredging work for berths 13 and 14 as part of moves to increase the port's capacity. Currently, it has 12 container berths.

However, with only about 78 per cent of the capacity utilised and no added containers or shipping lines to be expected from Johor Port through the rationalisation, there does not seem to be a need for the expansion.

PTP is handling some 6.6 million boxes at present. It has a capacity of 8.5 million TEUs.

"They will have to hold back on expansion plans as there is still some spare capacity to work with now," Eng told Business Times.

He said that this could mean some capital expenditure in Johor Port instead, previously held back pending a decision on the rationalisation of the two ports to ease congestion.

"There are still a couple of bulk berths that can be converted into container berths (for expansion). There is a little bit of room to play for Johor Port," Eng said.

MMC Corp owns 70 per cent of PTP and all of Johor Port. Ever since it bought over Johor Port in 2006, talk of rationalising MMC's port operations has been ongoing.

The plan had been to have PTP focus on containerised cargo, while Johor Port would handle bulk traffic.
It faced fierce opposition, however, from manufacturers who worried about higher transport costs.

1MDB, Malton to redevelop RMAF base

The Edge
Thursday, 13 May 2010 12:23

KUALA LUMPUR: The cabinet has agreed in principle to entrust the task of redeveloping the Sungai Besi Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base to a consortium of companies that include 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), sources say.

The other members of the consortium are Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) and Datuk Desmond Lim of Malton Bhd, they say. It cannot be ascertained if Malton or Lim, through his private company, has a stake in the consortium.

It is learnt that the mandate of the consortium is to develop the 162-hectare site into a multi-billion-ringgit Islamic financial centre. This is in line with the government’s plans to enhance Malaysia as a regional Islamic financial centre.

The sources say the government will also ink an agreement with the Qatar government that will commit an undertaking for major investments in Malaysia. The investments will be jointly undertaken with 1MDB and may likely include the redevelopment of the Sungai Besi RMAF base.

It is said that 1MDB would hold 30% interest in the consortium while Lim or Malton would hold 40%. LTAT would hold the remaining 30%.

The Sungai Besi airport, which served as the country’s first international airport from 1952 to 1965, was eyed by many parties as it is probably the last major tract of land that is located close to the city centre and has the potential for a multi-billion-ringgit redevelopment. It borders the Sungai Besi Highway at one end and Taman Seputeh and Istana Negara at the other.

“The decision to develop the base into an Islamic financial centre was made by the cabinet recently. It was with the view of promoting Malaysia as an Islamic finance hub in this region. It will ultimately create a platform for all Islamic finance-related institutions to set up base,” said a source.

It is learnt that the runway will be maintained so that private jets can fly in corporate big-wigs to do business in the financial district. There will also be a helipad.

“The other areas inside the base such as the nine-hole golf course and existing quarters housing RMAF personnel will be redeveloped,” said a source.

Last month, it was reported that plans to redevelop the Sungai Besi airport had resurfaced but both Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal claimed they were not aware of any such plans.

However, it is learnt that members of the golf club and the RMAF officials have been told to look for alternative sites. The cost of relocating the base and the golf course will be borne by the consortium undertaking the redevelopment of the base.

It is not clear if the project was tendered out but according to officials in the property development industry, they were not aware of any exercise by the government calling for expression of interest in the redevelopment of the base.

One of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s plans to increase government revenue is to redevelop land held by government agencies. In this respect, he announced the development of the Rubber Research Institute land in Sungai Buloh by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) last month.

He had said that this was to pave the way for the EPF to be directly involved in the economic activities of the country.

It has been reported that apart from the RMAF, the Sungai Besi base also houses the police air wing, the air unit of the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and the Royal Selangor Flying Club. The RMAF units housed in the base include the 10th Squadron, which maintains the Nuri and Blackhawk helicopters for utility and other purposes. The other RMAF operations there are the Aerospace Medical Institute as well as the RMAF museum.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, May 13, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Malaysia shortlists 3 sites for coal-fired plant

BTImes 10/8/2010

Three power plants have been identified as the possible choice to house a coal-fired plant that will be built to add 1,600 megawatts to the Peninsular Power Grid by the first quarter of 2015.
They are the

Tanjung Bin Power Plant owned by MMC Corp Bhd subsidiary Malakoff Corp Bhd;
Jimah Power Plant located in Port Dickson, Negri Sembilan; and
the coal-fired power plant in Manjung, Perak, managed by Tenaga Janamanjung Sdn Bhd.

There are no clear indications yet as to which of the three will be entrusted to develop the additional capacity.However, it is understood that the three power plants were shortlisted because of their existing facilities.It is also understood that an announcement will be made soon on the plant selected to start the project.

Energy Commission chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said that construction of the coal-fired plant would take about 42 months."The additional plant is necessary considering that the power plant in Bakun, Sarawak, is not forthcoming. Initially, it was supposed to provide the power."However, the decision on this (new coal plant) has to be done soon as it takes 42 months to construct a coal power plant," he told reporters after presenting a paper at the Energy Forum 2010 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Ahmad Tajuddin said the Energy Commission, the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, and the Economic Planning Unit should decide fast on the implementation of the coal-fired plant to avert the risk of a power shortage in the next five years.He added that there was a need for the new plant as electricity demand was increasing by the day, especially from the large industries.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

KYM, Vale agree to extend deadline for property sale

The Star 3/8/2010
PETALING JAYA: KYM Holdings Bhd has mutually agreed with Harta Makmur Sdn Bhd and Vale Malaysia Manufacturing Sdn Bhd to extend the cut-off date for a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) involving 13 parcels of leasehold properties to Aug 31.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, KYM said the parties had signed a conditional SPA on March 31 pursuant to Vale exercising its option to purchase the properties, totalling 305.94ha, from KYM’s 54%-owned unit Harta Makmur for RM93.76mil cash.

Harta Makmur last year sold 485.6ha of leasehold land in Teluk Rubiah to Vale for RM195.7mil.

In a separate statement, KYM said its wholly-owned unit KYM Built Sdn Bhd had on July 29 accepted a contract from Vale Malaysia for the refurbishment of a building for the use as a site office and upgrading of the main entrance at Teluk Rubiah, Perak for RM300,265.

“The contract is expected to commence next week and will be completed within a month.

“None of the directors or major shareholders or persons connected to the directors or major shareholders of KYM has any direct or indirect interest in the award of contract,” it said.

Electricity glut in Sarawak

Bakun & Murum will result in considerable oversupply by 2013 in absence of firm commitments
The Star 3/8/2010

PETALING JAYA: There is likely to be a major power glut in Sarawak with the coming on stream of two major hydro power projects by the end of 2013 and the lack of firm commitments from investors to take the power up, industry players said.

There will be
2,400MW of capacity from the RM7.3bil Bakun Dam by the end of 2012 while a further
944MW will be added from the RM3.5bil Murum Dam by the end of 2013.

About 300MW of hydropower from the first turbine at the RM7.3bil Bakun Dam is expected to be generated by the middle of next year and 600-900MW by end of next year; by 2012, all eight turbines are expected to be in place. Murum Dam is currently 27% completed with the RM3.5bil job awarded to China’s Three Gorges Project Corp and sub-contracted to Sinohydro Corp Ltd.

Total installed capacity from these two dams is 3,344MW but firm power that is available for use at anytime will be about 2,420MW (1,770MW from Bakun and 650MW from Murum).

Sarawak’s current capacity of 1,300MW
already considerably exceeds peak demand of 900MW (excluding power to Press Metal’s aluminium smelter, which will initially take up 90MW).

Apart from organic demand, industries from the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) are projected to start taking about
500MW in 2012 and close to
2,000MW by 2014,
according to projections by Sarawak Energy Bhd, the state electricity utility.

Sarawak Energy owns Murum Dam while Bakun Dam is owned by Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd which is in turn wholly-owned by the Government’s Minister of Finance Inc.

“By 2015, Sarawak expects a commitment of 2,590MW which exceeds the combined firm capacity of Bakun and Murum (2,420MW),” an industry source said.

However, industry players are not convinced that commitments will materialise to increase the power demand by 2,600 MW a year, nearly three times Sarawak’s current demand.

Sarawak Hidro still does not have an agreement to sell its electricity although the dam is going to be flooded soon. Sarawak Energy can’t make a firm decision to buy from Sarawak Hidro because it in turn does not have firm commitments by anyone to purchase the power. There is no agreement on tariffs as yet.

There are said to be 25 negotiations going on with 12 potential purchasers at an advanced stage of working out the details on the term sheet, sources indicated.

“It is a Catch 22 situation,” said an industry source. “Investors want to know how Sarawak Energy is strategising its position in relation to the Bakun Dam project. Sarawak Energy needs to get the financial commitment from Sarawak Hidro in terms of their financial models (upon which the tariffs will be calculated).”

In the interim, Sarawak Energy is likely to be take power from Bakun to maintain its gas turbines and coal fired plants. “Sarawak Energy needs to do maintenance,” said the industry source. “It will probably shut down these plants and draw down the power from Bakun.”

There has been talk that Sarawak Energy is eyeing the purchase of the mammoth Bakun project at an indicative price of RM6bil (minus compensation costs for a previously botched job as well as resettlement costs) compared with the asking price of RM8bil.

The issue of tariffs is also another thorny matter with Sarawak Energy looking at just below 8 sen per KwH while their heavy offtakers – the aluminium smelters – are only talking of slightly less than four US cents (13.6 sen on an exchange rate of RM3.40 to the dollar) per KwH. At Sarawak Hidro, various costs are imputed, making the tariff range acceptable at 10 to 15 sen per KwH.

Current talks with two potential aluminium smelters are focused on the commercial terms in the initial power purchase agreements.
These are:
·The smelter project by Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS) and Australia-based Rio Tinto Alcan, which requires between 900MW and 1,200MW for an initial annual capacity of up to 720,000 tonnes; and
·Smelter Asia with an initial annual capacity of 330,000 tonnes requiring 600MW. Smelter Asia is jointly owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s vehicle GIIG Holdings Sdn Bhd and China’s Aluminium Corp.

At the same time, there are ongoing talks with smaller users of 150-200MW such those in poly silicon, manganese and ferro silicon industries. They do not use as much power as smelters and cost of power is not a significant part of their overall costs.

The power glut does not stop at Bakun and Murum. Plans to build another five smaller dams are likely to commence later.

A 245MW dam can be built in Limbang if Sarawak Energy succeeds in pushing the Sarawak grid from Miri to Limbang, something which will involve passing through Brunei. “Sarawak Energy hopes to get strong commitment from Brunei before the end of this month for up to 400MW by 2015; the first phase of offtake is for 100MW in 2012,” said the industry source.

The 100MW dam at Lawas may be built in one or two years as Sarawak Energy is expected to engage with Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Bhd on supply of power to the state, pending their decision to proceed with the 300MW Liwagu hydro dam in Sabah.

About Me

A seeker of success (whatever that means) treading on a path, searching, to return to the wholesomeness that was him when he was launched into this big school called Earth.