Malaysia’s power utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is reported to be planning a power plant in the northern Kedah state capable of producing 1400 MW at a cost of 4bn ringgit ($1.1bn).

A TNB official speaking to the Reuters news agency said work on the first phase of the project was expected to commence in March and scheduled for completion by the end of 2004. The gas-fired power plant would have an initial capacity of 220 MW.

“Capacity may be increased to around 700 megawatts depending on power needs in the area. The plant is capable of generating up to 1,400 megawatts, but this is a long-term plan,” the official told Reuters.

The project is undertaken by TNB Engineering and Consultancy Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tenaga.

State-controlled Tenaga, projecting slower electricity demand growth, has cut capital expenditure 26 per cent to 5.7bn ringgit for the financial year to August 31, 2002 from 7.7bn ringgit in FY2001.

It has deferred some power plant projects by between one and two years.

Tenaga has cut its forecast of electricity demand growth to five per cent for 2002 from an earlier 9.4 per cent.

Planned projects, including a 1500 MW plant in Port Dickson, 2100 MW coal-fired SKS Pulau Bunting and 1400 MW Jinmah Power, would now commence operations between 2005 and 2008, it said.