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NEWS UPDATES 11 January 2010

Malaysia: Analysts see increase in power tariffs

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With the recent rise in sugar prices by 20 sen per kg from Jan. 1, some analysts are saying the next thing to head upwards might be electricity tariffs, the StarBiz reported.

The possibility of an increase in electricity tariffs has already seen some companies and industries making a push towards energy saving solutions.

Presently, Malaysia’s tariff rates are the third lowest in the region after Vietnam and Indonesia. A tariff review will be imminent if the international prices of gas and coal rise, as seen in 2007 and the early part of 2008.

Natural gas prices have surged by some 74 percent and coal prices by 17 percent  since early November last year due to the stronger demand in winter.

“Although there has been no Cabinet decision for now, Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s (TNB) electricity tariffs will nevertheless be reviewed again in January-February given the Government’s bi-annual energy review policy,” said AmResearch analyst Alex Goh.

Another power analyst noted the Government increased sugar prices knowing this would affect the lower income group.

“Hence there is a possibility the Government will increase tariffs, as this will affect the middle-income group rather than the lower-income group,” said the analyst.

Electricity tariffs in Peninsular Malaysia were last adjusted on March 1 last year, reduced by an average of 3.7 percent following the 24 percent hike in July 2008.


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