(EnergyAsia, August 16 2012, Thursday) — Malaysian independent power producer, Malakoff Corporation Berhad, has started work on the construction of Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plant in Tanjung Bin in the southern state of Johor.

The company is investing a total of RM6.5 billion in the 1,000MW plant which will more than triple the generating capacity in the Tanjung Bin area to 3,100MW when it starts up in 2016. (US$1=RM3.1).

In a competitive tender last year, Malakoff secured the contract from the state Energy Commission of Malaysia to build and operate the plant which will help meet the country’s fast-growing demand for electricity, in particular in Johor state’s Iskandar region which is expanding its manufacturing sector.

According to Malakoff, Iskandar’s power demand is expected to rise from 1,479 MW in 2010 to 2,254 MW by 2020 as a result of growth in the region’s port and marine services, warehousing, logistics engineering, hi-tech manufacturing, food production, petrochemical industry and entrepot trade.

At a ceremony this week, Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, chairman of the Energy Commission, expressed confidence that Malakoff would be able to “offer reliable (electricity) supply at competitive pricing.”

“The new Tanjung Bin project will help the government’s effort in boosting the development of Johor’s Iskandar region. The project will certainly bring a huge multiplier effect to the economy,” he added.

The new plant will incorporate latest energy-efficient and green technology utilising a supercritical steam turbine and generator, boiler and plant auxiliaries.

“We are committed to make this a successful venture as we chart the company’s growth plans as the leading independent power producer not only in Malaysia, but also in the region,” said Malakoff chairman Wira Syed Jabbar Syed Hassan.

Malakoff is Malaysia’s largest independent power producer with a net generating capacity of 5,020 MW from its six power plants that run on coal and gas. The company also has power and water ventures in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait and Bahrain, with plans to expand into other countries in Southeast Asia.