(EnergyAsia, August 31 2010, Tuesday) — Malaysia’s state power company Tenaga Nasional Berhad said it is bidding for a RM7 billion government project to expand and upgrade the country’s power plants by 2015. (US$1=RM3.15).

The Energy Commission is calling for bids to boost the country’s power capacity to meet its electricity demand, which is projected to rise by 5% per year. Malaysia, which now has an installed capacity of 22,000MW, is projected to need 800 megawatt of new capacity by 2015 and a further 1,000MW by 2017.

Without these expansions, the commission said Malaysia’s electricity reserve margin could fall below the 20% safety threshold.

Tenaga is expected to compete for the project with MMC Corp, the country’s second-biggest electricity producer, and Jimah Energy Ventures, an independent power producer with a 25-year licence to operate a 1,400MW coal-fired plant in Negri Sembilan state.

Separately, Tenaga expects to begin building a new 100MW coal-fired plant on its existing 2,000MW complex in Manjung early next year, with completion scheduled for 2014