TNB to focus on technology partnerships


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PETALING JAYA: Fresh from its maiden foray into the international offshore wind market, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) says it will continue to focus on leveraging on technology partnerships and collaborations to bring it forward.

Project director (strategy and ventures division) Noor Miza Muhamad Razali said the national utility company was looking at all kinds of technologies but the feasibility, expertise as well as regulatory requirements for any venture, remained important factors to consider.

“We are open to all viable technologies and not limiting ourselves,” she said during a briefing yesterday.

Earlier this month, TNB said it had bought a 49% stake in an offshore wind farm company, Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd, which marked its foray into the international offshore wind market.

The move is also expected to boost its renewable energy (RE) portfolio, where it has a target to reach an RE capacity of 8,300MW by 2025.

Noor Miza said TNB had “all the ingredients” to develop technology with partners, which included more than 600 researchers within TNB and external technology partners.

Among the emerging technology focus areas that the utility giant has identified are wind turbines, solar panels, green hydrogen, energy storage, electric mobility and smart cities.

In this vein, TNB was also piloting virtual power plant technology that utilises software and energy storage that will enable future peer-to-peer generation among energy consumers who both produce and consume energy, Noor Miza said.

Chief strategy and ventures officer Datuk Fazlur Rahman Zainuddin said TNB was taking progressive steps to meet its Sustainability Pathway 2050 goals.

“We see this as the next business growth and value creation opportunity. We are adopting a two-pronged approach in charting the pathway,” he said, adding that these comprised making its current core businesses sustainable and building new sustainable businesses for growth.

Fazlur also said in terms of structure and focus, the new energy division (NED) was formed in late financial year 2021 to expand the company’s RE portfolio in targeted markets, and to set up strategic partnerships with leading RE players.

“The NED streamlines our RE expansion arms and oversees two key entities, which are Vantage RE, operating out of the United Kingdom to focus on UK and Europe markets, and TNB Renewables which is based in Malaysia to focus on the domestic and South-East Asian markets.”

Meanwhile, to a question on whether it made sense for Malaysia to export its RE, Noor Miza said energy trading depended on the objectives of a country and its systems.

“I do believe it all depends on a government’s objectives – definitely when it comes to interconnection, this is something that would be good for power systems anywhere,” she said.

On TNB’s reported interest to produce credits for the planned Voluntary Carbon Market and whether this would enhance the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile, Noor Miza said when it came to the company’s ESG profile, the core was about its own operations and plans.

“Carbon credits are only part of the solution, it’s not the biggest thing on our ESG agenda.”

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