South Africa among new sources of coal supply for TNB

KUALA LUMPUR: South Africa is among the sources of new coal supply for Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) to ease the current shortage, following the floods in Queensland, Australia.

Queensland has served as TNB's traditional supply market.

“The situation in Australia has affected us to a certain extent. Some of our suppliers in Australia cannot deliver the coal to us, due to the flooding in Queensland,” said TNB president and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh when asked about the coal price today.

“What we are doing now is buying coal from all over the world, especially from South Africa,” he added.

Che Khalib had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of TNB with Reseau de Transport d'Electricite of France on technology transfer.

He also said that TNB is looking at the possibility of securing a bigger supply from Indonesia,adding, company officials would be going to the country to negotiate this.

“We are buying aggresively to overcome the supply situation now. I think the situation in Queensland cannot be resolved over the next one or two months and will take longer than anticipated. “I think, we have to quickly ensure, the supply of coal,” he added.

On the coal price, Che Khalib said it has been easing over the past two weeks, having gone up as high as US$145 per tonne, and was now trading in the region of US$120 per tonne.

“It (coal price) will not go below the US$100 level within a short period of time but I think it is good for us. “Every increase of US$10 in the coal price will have an impact of almost 16 per cent on the company's bottomline,” he added.

Che Khalib was quoted last month as saying that TNB's bottomline for the current financial year ending August 2011, is likely to be affected by 20% in the worst case scenario, if coal prices continue to increase substantially. - Bernama

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