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Malaysia utility to build two 300-MW hydro projects

State power utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) says it will proceed with development of the 300-MW Hulu Jelai and 300-MW Hulu Terengganu hydroelectric projects on the Malay Peninsula.

State news agency Bernama reported TNB Chief Executive Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said work is to begin by mid-2008 on Hulu (or Ulu) Jelai in Pahang State and Hulu Terengganu in Terengganu State. The projects are to be completed by 2013 at a cost of 2.5 billion ringgit (US$750 million).

Che Kalib said earlier this year that feasibility studies were under way on the two projects. (HNN 2/5/07)

The utility head said TNB would ensure there is no delay in building the projects so they can meet area demand under TNB's East Coast Economic Region (ECER) master plan.

"Overall, TNB's investment of 3 billion ringgit (US$901 million) in the dams and other projects demonstrates its confidence in the objectives of ECER," Che Kalib said.

The official said TNB also is working to supply electricity to Tioman Island from a combination of solar, wind, hydro, and diesel power, making Tioman the first such site in the world to use such a combination.

Although the utility announcement did not elaborate on the two hydro projects, a report by the ASEAN Center for Energy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations said the conventional 300-MW Hulu Jelai project could be expanded to a pumped-storage project of between 1,000 and 1,200 MW.

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