Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2012 -- BMI View: If investment levels remain on target, Malaysia could create a significant net power export capability, with Indonesia keen to become a customer for surplus electricity. Nuclear power forms part of the 'wish list', but near-term supply expansion relies largely on thermal and hydro schemes, with renewables growing rapidly from a low base.
The government has recently given the go-ahead to begin identifying suitable sites for the country's first nuclear power plant. A budget of US$7bn has reportedly been allocated to the nuclear scheme, which, according to Peter Chin Fah Kui, minister of energy for green technology and water, is expected to start operations in 2021. This is arguably an optimistic timeframe for the completion of Malaysia's first reactors. Our forecasts until 2021 do not incorporate any nuclear production. In line with the country's vast gas reserves and its status as one of the world's largest gas exporters, gas will remain the most important source of energy for the country. We note though the increasingly attractive nature of coal due to its lower-price point per unit of energy and to increasingly cleaner coal utilization technologies.
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Key trends and recent developments in the Malaysian electricity market include:
- As with other regional gas-producing countries, Malaysia is torn between maximising its important export revenues from the fuel and exploiting it as the basis for power generation growth. The country could even end up importing some liquefied natural gas (LNG) to supply geographically remote power projects, rather than building costly local supply infrastructure.
- We expect total electricity generation in Malaysia to reach 120TWh in 2012, an increase of 4.33% from 2011 levels. Thermal generation will be the main driver of growth with subcategories coal and natural gas increasing by 5.5% and 4.04% in 2012 to reach 33.4TWh and 76.9TWh in electricity generation, respectively. Malaysia's vast natural gas resources has made electricity generation from gas the dominant form of fuel in the country with a 2011 total electricity generation share of 64.2%.
- We expect total power generation in the country to grow at an annual average rate of 4.83% from 120.1TWh in 2012 to 183.6TWh in 2021. Thermal power generation will remain the most dominant form of energy in the country increasing its share of total power generation from 93.5% in 2012 to 94.3% in 2021. Coal power generation is set to grow at an annual average rate of 5.2% from 33.4TWh in 2012 to 52.8TWh in 2021. Natural gas power generation is set to grow at an annual average rate of 4.9% from 76.9TWh in 2012 to 118.3TWh in 2021.
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