THE Government has defended the awarding of a multi-billion ringgit power plant project to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), saying that it was done via competitive bidding.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili dismissed claims by Rafizi Ramli (PKR-Pandan) that the estimated RM11bil contract was given to 1MDB without any bidding.
Dr Ongkili said that four companies had vied for the Track 3B power plant project.
“We short-listed two companies – 1MDB and YTL Power International Bhd. The rate proposed by YTL was 25.12 sen per kiloWatt hour (kWh), while 1MDB suggested a rate of 25.33 sen/kWh.
“However, the contract was awarded to 1MDB for several reasons, including the fact that YTL failed to fulfil requirements that the technology used for the project must be tried and tested,” he said during question time.
Dr Ongkili said YTL had proposed to use technology that had not been proven effective.
“We do not want our country to be a test bed of that size,” he said, adding that other reasons for 1MDB to be chosen was because it offered “the second lowest rate”.
To a question from Datuk Wira Othman Abdul (BN-Pendang) on the rationale behind raising the electricity tariff when Tenaga Nasional Bhd had a profit of RM1.73bil, Dr Ongkili said while the company’s nett profit on Aug 31 last year was RM4.1bil, it was not enough to balance out the cost of power generation and distribution.
“The Government is continuously checking and discussing with independent power producers,” he added.