KUALA LUMPUR: The recent RM9.83 billion acquisition of Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd (Edra) — itself the largest single foreign investment in Malaysia — by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) puts Malaysia in a strong position to develop Asean’s power sector, Edra President and Executive Director Datuk Mark Ling said Thursday.
He told Bernama that Edra, backed by CGN’s capitalisation of US$60 billion, was now able to link through the Trans-Asean grids from the Philippines to Sabah, down to Sarawak and Sumatera.
“We are now able to immediately further enhance opportunities and commitments, opportunities which have been knocking at our door previously but which we were unable to entertain,” he said.
CGN, the world’ leading clean energy company, completed its acquisition of Edra, Malaysia’s second largest independent power producer (IPP) last month which made it the country’s biggest merger and acquisition deal for this year.
Edra was formed in 2014 from the consolidation of three major IPPs in Malaysia, Powertek Energy Group, KLPP Group and Jimah Energy Group, each with an impressive history in the development, operation and maintenance of power plants.
Ling said that the Malaysian government had been looking at the submarine cable which itself would have at least one belt of electricity to serve the region from South-East Asia to China.
“Eventually, Malaysia will be looking to go across to Bangladesh and India and the populations are here,” he said.
Edra has a portfolio of 13 power and desalination plants in five countries including Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
He said because of Edra’s background in these countries, it had the privilege to understand the power purchase agreements besides being familiar with the Energy Commissions in such places.
“We have very good working relationships with these countries, so you would see that we were built on these assets and relationships and hence CGN sees Edra and appreciates the value that it represents.
“So when the company looks at valuing and revaluing its assets, it needs to tag along with all the time frame of the power purchase agreements to get the best value. So with this, the diversity of the regions and diversity of assets, it would be Europe. We may look into North Africa where Egypt is…. this is the scenario where we would like to develop,” he added.
Ling also spoke of two major features prevailing in the power industry, the ability to capitalise and fund acquisitions as well as the development works.
Edra had this thanks to CGN which allowed the company to penetrate the market in a very serious manner.
And backed by the workforce and experiences of 30,000 CGN employees, Edra would then look to regionalise and localise the areas of its operations.
“In the case of Edra, in Egypt and Bangladesh we employ mainly locals and in Malaysia 100 per cent of the management is retained. The greatest value we can give to our employees is to allow them to have the best experience and the best training so that they would be the best in the market,” he said.
On a personal note, Ling, who hails from Sarawak, said: “It has been my greatest honour looking at all the power companies in Malaysia, to be the first Sarawakian to be leading Edra with CGN being the largest nuclear company in China.”
“And to actually have a Sarawakian lead Edra, it’s a great honour for us Sarawakians, we have to understand that we have got no barriers in convincing the rest of the world that we can do it. And I will be looking seriously into avenues of new energy businesses in Sarawak”.