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February 8, 2009

Malaysia to cut power tariffs starting March 1
Malaysia's government will cut electricity tariffs for households and industry by 7 to 10 percent beginning March 1.

"We are already working with the Economic Planning Unit on this and I will be briefing the Cabinet on Wednesday ... however, I can't tell you the exact quantum now," Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor was quoted by local daily The Star quoted as saying Saturday.

Industries that consume large amounts of electricity will also be given rebates, he said.

"We may also give rebates to industries which are involved in water treatment because their electricity (usage) makes up between 40 and 50 percent of their operation cost," he said.

National oil company Petronas will be asked to reduce gas prices to the power sector to help cut the cost of generating electricity, he said.

The revised tariffs were prompted by the large drop in crude oil prices from a peak of about $140 per barrel in mid-July last year to about $40 per barrel at present.

Last year, national utility Tenaga Nasional spent 9.5 billion Malaysian ringgit ($2.63 billion) on electricity from independent power producers and the figure is expected to increase to 12 billion ringgit this year.

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