Why was 30MW of Geothermal FIT Quota allocated via direct negotiation to Tawau Green Energy (TGE) which is majority owned by Sabah UMNO leaders?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 2nd of May, 2014

FiT Quotas in Malaysia are in high demand because of their limited number and the potential financial returns from renewal energy. The E-FIT system developed by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), using many millions of ringgit, is supposed to provide a more transparent platform to allocate FIT Quotas across the various categories including biogas, biomass, hydro and solar PV.

However, a recent decision by the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), shows that the E-FIT system has been replaced by direct negotiation in the awarding of 30MW of geothermal energy to the Sabah based Tawau Green Energy (TGE).

Tawau Green Energy (TGE) which is in the process of building Malaysia’s first geothermal energy plant in the Apas Kiri area in the Tawau district announced that they had been awarded a FIT Quota by KeTTHA on the 8th of November, 2013.[1] This was confirmed by a reply on the 18th of November to my college, YB Chan Foong Hin, ADUN for Sri Tanjung, in the Sabah state assembly (Appendix 1). However, this was not announced in the SEDA website!

In a search with the Companies Commission in September 2013, it was revealed that the majority 52% shareholder of Tawau Green Energy was none other than Yamani Hafez bin Musa, who is the UMNO Sipitang division Youth Chief and also son of the Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman. In the latest search in May 2014, the major shareholder has now been changed to Awang Kading Tang, the former Sabah UMNO Youth chief and current deputy UMNO division chief for Sandakan. (Appendix 2)

I call upon the Minister, Maximus Ongkili, as well as the CEO of SEDA, Badriyah Haji Abdul Malek to answer the following questions:

  1. Has this 30MW Geothermal FIT Quota been awarded via direct negotiation to Tawau Green Energy?
  2. How could it have been awarded on the 8th of November 2013 when the gazetted to introduce Geothermal Energy as a category in the Schedule of the RE Act was only published on the 24th of December 2013?
  3. Did the Minister over-ride SEDA in deciding this FIT Quota allocation to Tawau Green Energy (TGE)?
  4. What is the FIT rate for geothermal energy for this FIT Quota?
  1. Will more direct negotiations be decided by the Minister for KeTTHA especially for the very much sought after solar PV quota above 425kwH?

In a briefing given by SEDA COO, Ir Dr Ali Askar, he stated that applications for solar PV quotas above 425kwH would have to be submitted manually and that these quotas would be decided by the Minister. If this is indeed the case, it would make a mockery of the E-FIT system that is only applicable to the small players below 425kwH and the larger quotas will be decided by the Minister at his discretion.

Appendix 1: Reply to YB Chan Foong Hin, ADUN for Sri Tanjong, on the 18th of November, 2013 in the Sabah DUN

Appendix 2: Major shareholders for Tawau Green Energy (TGE) from company searches in September 2013 and May 2014

Companies Commission Search from September 2013 showing Yamani Hafez bin Musa as the majority 52% shareholder of Tawau Green Energy

Companies Commission Search from May 2014 showing Awang Kadin Tang as the majority 52% shareholder of Tawau Green Energy

[1] http://www.tgepower.com/announcement.html