TNB gets second bite at coal-fired plant
Joseph Sipalan | Nov 25, 10 1:40pm
National power company Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has indicated that it will continue with its plan to build the controversial 300MW coal-fired power plant in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Despite its initial detailed environment impact assessment (DEIA) report being rejected by the Department of Environment (DoE) on Aug 18, the company has the option of appealing the decision.
"A revised DEIA report will be resubmitted for review and approval," the company said in a short entry in its 2010 annual report.
The coal-fired plant, to be built on Felda Sahabat land some 100km from Lahad Datu town, is the third incarnation of the project after it was rejected twice on environmental grounds.
The first proposal in 2007 was for the facility to be built in Silam, also in Lahad Datu. Two years later, the site was changed to Seguntor, Sandakan.
On both counts, the project saw fierce opposition from the public and environmental NGOs.
Second bid allowed
State tourism, culture and environment minister Masidi Manjun had said in August that both the state and federal governments had pledged not to press ahead with the project if the DEIA is rejected.
He however pointed out that TNB could still pursue the matter as "existing policy and procedures give (the) option" to the developer to carry out another DEIA report, in a bid to secure approval from the DoE.
The RM1.7 billion plant has come under heavy criticism over the past year, with NGO coalition Green SURF going as far as to accuse TNB of producing a DEIA designed to "mislead" the public into believing the facility is eco-friendly.
The proposed project was awarded to a consortium of TNB Remaco, Eden-Nova and a Sabah state-owned company. A special purpose vehicle company, Lahad Datu Energy Sdn Bhd, was formed to implement the project.
This coal plant has been REJECTED 3 times. This will be the FOURTH time TNB will be pursuing the coal plant in Sabah thus they openly DISRESPECT:
The peoples of Sabah
The State Government of Sabah
The Federal Government DoE Department of Environment
Land Empowerment Animals and People (LEAP) NGO
Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS TRUST) NGO
Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) NGO
Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) NGO
WWF Malaysia (NGO)
TNB, a public service utility, is holding The Peoples of Sabah and The State Government at ransom.