Archive for category Energy

Pua dares gov’t to declassify IPP contracts

Regina Lee | May 28, 11

The DAP has challenged the BN-led federal government to declassify the Independent Power Producer (IPP) agreements amidst the massive subsidy cutting exercise in the country.

The party’s publicity secretary and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said that this should be done to “justify the government’s refusal to restructure these wildly unfair contracts which allow them to make astronomical returns at the expense of the people”. Read the rest of this entry »


Gov’t to announce power tariff hike on Monday

Malaysiakini | May 27, 11

The National Economic Council (NEC) has today approved an increase in the electricity tariff but details will only be announced on Monday.

The NEC convened today in Putrajaya at a meeting involving several cabinet ministers chaired by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
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Power subsidies: Their mistakes, our liabilities

Malaysiakini Your Say | May 26, 11

‘I doubt anything substantial will come out of the re-negotiation as the IPPs and Umno are sitting on the same side of the table.’

Transparency of IPP contracts ‘long overdue’

Kgen: The lopsided IPP (independent power producer) agreements are the result of Dr Mahathir Mohamad forcing TNB (Tenaga Nasional Bhd) to sign on the dotted line.
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IPPs: A case of the poor subsiding the rich

Malaysiakini Your Say | May 26, 11

‘Why is it that one minister called it ‘subsidy’ but another minister said it is not. This is ridiculous BN ways at work.’

Chin’s ‘savings, not subsidy’ remark shocks DAP

Onyourtoes: I think both Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin are missing the fundamental issues on IPPs (independent power producers):
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Minister: Fuel prices to stay, for now

By Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 25, 11

The government will maintain petrol, diesel and liquified petroluem gas (LPG) prices for now, said Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri.

This was decided by cabinet earlier this morning, said Ismail (left) during a press conference at about 3.45pm today.
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Transparency of IPP contracts ‘long overdue’

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng | May 24, 11

Calls to reveal ‘secret contracts’ with independent power producers (IPPs) have regained momentum with the announcement by Idris Jala that the government is reviewing gas subsidies provided to this sector.

Idris, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, told Malaysiakini last week that some of the contracts are expiring and that the subsidies offered will come up for review.

“It’s being renegotiated. The negotiations are going on and we’ve concluded some of them. In due course, we’ll be making an announcement,” Idris had said.

However, one reason for lopsided contracts signed in the early 1990s with first-generation IPPs was the lack of transparency and scrutiny.

It now appears that the mistake may be repeated, as information has not been disclosed on the review of existing contracts or the negotiation of new contracts.

“All contracts relating to subsidies and the public interest, especially in the areas of public utilities, must be made public,” said Klang MP Charles Santiago of the DAP.

He suggested that Parliament should be given a say in the negotiation process with IPPs. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP: Remove IPP subsidies first

By Yow Hong Chieh | May 18, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 – The Najib administration should first cut billion-ringgit subsidies for independent power producers (IPPs) rather than burden the people with subsidy cuts on essential items, DAP has said.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the government would only spur inflation by removing the diesel super subsidy before cutting “big opium” gas subsidies worth RM19 billion for IPPs and commercial power sectors.

“Remove the big opium of gas subsidies that can save tens of billions of ringgit annually before dealing with the opiate for the masses that only save hundreds of millions of ringgit,” he said in a statement today.
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Meltdown may have occurred also at Nos. 2, 3 reactors

Japan Today
Tuesday 17th May

TOKYO — An adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had failed to inject water into the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors for more than six hours after the March 11 massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Goshi Hosono, tasked with handling the nuclear crisis, said at a press conference that Tokyo Electric Power Co had not been able to cool down the reactors’ cores due to loss of external power for a long time after the quake, acknowledging that fuel in the vessels might have largely melted ‘‘in the worst-case scenario.’‘

But he added TEPCO has been succeeding in preventing the reactor’s fuel from overheating so far and reiterated the government will stick to the timetable set by the firm, which announced April 17 it aims to bring the crisis there under control in six to nine months.

His remarks came a day after TEPCO said a nuclear fuel meltdown at the No. 1 reactor is believed to have occurred around 16 hours after the devastating quake and tsunami crippled the plant’s critical cooling systems.

TEPCO is slated to release on Tuesday an updated roadmap for bringing under control Japan’s worst nuclear accident based on new information about the plant’s condition. Read the rest of this entry »


BN’s fatal screw-up

Dean Johns | Mar 23, 11

Gleefully following the victories of the people against one government after another in North Africa and the Middle East, I keep recalling that these revolutions were ultimately triggered by the death of just one young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, in Tunisia.

That proved the tipping point, the final straw that raised popular resentment against decades of corruption, repression and injustice to what nuclear scientists call ‘critical mass’, resulting in the chain reaction that’s already blown several regimes away and still threatens a great many others.

So, as a long-time loather of Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional regime, I’ve been closely watching to see if it would succumb to the fall-out of the Arab revolt, or survive to later implode of its own accord.

But now I suspect that the seeds of BN’s destruction have been sown, not by explosive events in the Arab world, but by the ongoing nuclear emergency in earthquake- and tsunami-devastated northern Japan. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib should give full report to Parliament on the previous “bad experience” with nuclear power which former PM Mahathir had mentioned

The Cabinet meeting yesterday was a great letdown and disappointment.

In the wake of the Japanese nuclear meltdown crisis triggered by the double calamity of 9.0 earthquake and tsunami last week, the failure of the Cabinet Ministers yesterday to discuss widespread concerns in the country about Malaysia’s nuclear power plans is the height of irresponsibility and negligence.

The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Ongkili did not tell anything new when he said after the Cabinet meeting that the Malaysian Nuclear Power Corporation would proceed with accepting tenders for companies to conduct a feasibility study on the government’s plans to build two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants by 2022.

What really shocked Malaysians is his revelation that the Cabinet had not discussed this matter at its meeting yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan’s Unsavory Options

Daniel Wagner
The Huffington Post
March 17, 2011

Japan’s first week of this crisis has revealed to the world what many Japan watchers have known for many years — that it was woefully unprepared to deal with an inevitable severe earthquake and its repercussions.

TEPCO (the Tokyo Electric Power Company) and the Japanese government have unfortunately fulfilled the expectations of many who are familiar with their histories addressing crises, in which they have proven either inept or purposely misleading in delivering trustworthy information to the public. To proclaim, as one Japanese minister did last weekend, that the amount of radiation released at that time was equivalent to a CAT scan was simply absurd. We should not have expected more from TEPCO, which has in previous instances delivered purposely misleading information. But the Japanese government had an opportunity to shine in managing this crisis; it has regrettably fallen fall short of the mark.

Had TEPCO and the government either had a handle on what was occurring at the Fukushima nuclear complex, or been honest and forthright in reporting what was occurring, they might have put themselves in a position to reach out for international assistance more rapidly, and the events over the past week at the complex may not necessarily have unfolded as they have.

U.S. government officials have expressed alarm at how this ordeal has been handled and envision a possible ‘dead zone’ in Northeast Japan for decades. We could see a scenario in which a large swathe of northeast Japan becomes permanently uninhabitable. Were that to occur, the impact on the Japanese economy would clearly be severe and would preclude the idea of rebuilding areas impacted by the quake and tsunami. As bad as that would be, the impact on companies expecting to participate in the rebuilding effort would be unwelcome, and the anticipated ‘bounce’ in global share prices as a result of spending an anticipated $200 billion to rebuild the area would prove to be premature, since it may not happen at all. Read the rest of this entry »


Comparing Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Accidents: Q&A

By Adi Narayan
Mar 17, 2011

March 15 (Bloomberg) — Radiation leaks from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s earthquake-stricken reactors in northeastern Japan represent the worst nuclear power accident since the meltdown at Chernobyl, Ukraine, almost 25 years ago, scientists say.

Military helicopters are dumping water on containers holding spent uranium fuel to prevent them from overheating after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disabled a cooling system, Tokyo Electric spokesman Kaoru Yoshida told reporters yesterday. Once exposed, the spent fuel rods may catch fire and melt, spewing radiation into the atmosphere.

“Radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures,” U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko told a congressional panel in Washington yesterday.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the accidents at Fukushima, Chernobyl in 1986 and Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, in 1979. The information is drawn from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, the World Health Organization in Geneva and interviews with radiation safety experts in the U.S., Australia and India. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia should learn the lessons from the Japan Nuclear Catastrophe

The last six days has been the hardest moments for Japan as a nation as they are faced with an earthquake of a magnitude of 9.0, followed by the nuclear explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plants with a radiation contamination threat.

Malaysians extend their greatest sympathies to Japan for the earthquake that has struck in such unexpected fashion. Indeed, the people of Japan had shown great courage in face of the national tribulation which has been described as the worst disaster of the nation after World War II.

The incident had revealed the inconvenient truth for the proponent of nuclear power that it is a high-risk gamble. Officials in Japan have said that the nuclear reactor was built to withstand disasters. Yet the accident which occurred has caused such detrimental result.
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Japan steps closer to a full-blown nuclear catastrophe

By Steven Mufson
The Washington Post
Monday, March 14, 11

Japan stepped closer to a full blown nuclear catastrophe Tuesday after the third explosion in four days appeared to have damaged equipment inside the reactor, apparently creating a path for the escape of radioactive materials, and a fire broke out at a separate reactor where spent fuel and hydrogen ignited. Tokyo Electric Power Co., owner of the seaside nuclear complex, ordered the evacuation of all but the 50 most essential workers and the Japanese Prime Minister addressed the nation urging people within 19 miles to stay indoors and remain calm.

Officials from Tokyo Electric Power, the plant owner, said the 6:14 a.m. explosion took place in the unit 2 reactor at or near the suppression pool, which collects water and radioactive elements from the containment vessel.

Experts said that, unlike the two previous explosions that destroyed outer buildings, this one might have damaged valves and drain pipes, possibly creating a path for radioactive materials to escape.

The explosion — more serious than the earlier blasts — was followed by a brief drop in pressure in the vessel and a spike in radioactivity outside the reactor to levels more than eight times what people ordinarily receive in a year, the company said. Tokyo Electric, which over the weekend said it had 1,400 people working at the complex, said it was evacuating all nonessential personnel, leaving about 50 people there. Read the rest of this entry »