KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 22, 2000 (Business Times)—TENAGA Nasional Bhd, which has embarked on a programme to divest its power generation assets, will not favour any party when considering bids for the plants that it puts on sale.

Its new chairman, Datuk Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, said in pursuing policies set forth by his predecessor, Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, for the national power utility to concentrate on power transmission and distribution, Tenaga “will make certain that its asset sales will not be skewed towards any party.”

Jamaludin was speaking at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Member of Parliament for Rompin, Pahang, who assumed his post at the utility on September 1, was asked to comment on market talk that he might use his influence to secure better deals for certain parties interested in buying the company’s power plants.

“No, I am not calling the shots. The power is with Datuk Fuad Jaafar (acting chief executive and president). All operational and management issues are on his table, so the board has to support him,” he said.

Shares of Tenaga closed unchanged at RM11. 80 on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange yesterday.

Tenaga started selling its power plants in late-1998 as part of the Government’s long-term plan to implement power pooling whereby electricity, traded as a commodity, will be made available directly to industrial users.

Of the seven plants earmarked for disposal, Tenaga has sold two: a 330 MW gas-powered plant in Malacca to Powertek Bhd and the 2,420 MW Kapar plant in Selangor to Malakoff Bhd.

Up for sale next is the 729 MW plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, bids for which are in the final stages of being evaluated by Tenaga, Jamaludinsaid.

“My responsibility to the Government as Tenaga chairman is to make sure that the national utility’s value is properly managed,” he said, adding that this includes identifying new revenue streams.

And areas currently of particular interest to Tenaga are property development and “new economy” initiatives.

Tenaga does not rule out entering into joint ventures or alliances with other companies to develop its vast land bank, Jamaludin said.

“As for what projects, it depends on market conditions. We are the landowner, we want value for our property.

I will ask the management to do a study. We have land in prime locations like Ampang and Kenny Hills.”

On information technology, he said Tenaga will increasingly use various “solutions” to help it improve efficiency and reduce operating costs.

He is also looking into the possibility of setting up a business-to-business exchange and an Internet-enabled payments system.

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