Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tenaga ready to buy gas from open market by 2012

BANGI, Selangor (Dec 13): TENAGA NASIONAL BHD [] (TNB) is ready to purchase gas from the open market by August 2012 once the regassification terminal in Malacca is completed.

TNB chief executive officer and president Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said on Tuesday the power company had held talks with traders and suppliers including major multinationals such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell to ensure a secured supply of gas.

However, he said the supply of gas from the open market, secured based on international market price, would not necessarily be translated into higher tariff rates for domestic and industrial consumers.

Che Khalib said TNB had put forward several options to the government.

On Dec 1, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said it would shoulder part of TNB's higher operational costs caused by the shortage of gas.

The Edge FinancialDaily reported that TNB had received a letter from the government about a fuel cost sharing mechanism where Petronas, TNB and the government will equally share the RM3.07 billion the utility company incurred in cost overruns from Jan 1, 2010 to Oct 31, 2011.

The lifeline was thrown to TNB, which is swimming in a sea of red ink due to high costs, as it had to seek alternative fuel to make up for the shortage of subsidised gas supplied by Petronas to generate energy. TNB posted a net loss of RM453.9 million for 4QFY11 ended Aug 31.

Under the cost sharing mechanism, TNB will recoup RM2 billion, or 36.6 sen per share, of the cost overruns it incurred in the 22-month period.

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