Malaysian utility firm Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) is spearheading a transformative partnership with China’s state-owned power utilities, aiming to revolutionize the ASEAN power grid (APG) through cutting-edge highvoltage direct current (HVDC) technology.

TNB said in a statement on Thursday that this strategic move underscores its commitment as a regional energy leader dedicated to advancing sustainable energy solutions.

TNB President and Chief Executive Officer Ir. Baharin Din has unveiled the ambitious initiative, emphasizing the pivotal role of HVDC technology in fostering efficient power trading, seamless resource sharing, and the integration of renewable energy (RE) sources among ASEAN nations.

“TNB is at the forefront of pioneering sustainable energy initiatives in the ASEAN region,

“Our exploration of HVDC technology is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability,” he said.

According to him, interconnection using HVDC technology will benefit power trading, resource sharing and RE integration between neighboring ASEAN countries.

He said the firm is looking at potentially collaborating with China’s state-owned power utilities.

“The potential partnership with China’s state-owned utilities on HVDC projects is strategically designed to capitalize on their expertise and experience in developing complex HVDC projects in China and globally,

“This signifies a milestone in our growth and a testament to our dedication to pushing the boundaries of sustainability and technological innovation,” he added.

As a staunch advocate of the APG, TNB said the firm is taking a comprehensive approach to its responsible Energy Transition (ET) journey, recognizing the pivotal role of regional interconnections.

Baharin reaffirmed TNB’s commitment to the APG by revealing that the company has inked five memoranda of inderstanding with neighboring countries, focusing on interconnection and renewable energy generation.

Furthermore, Baharin stressed that the burgeoning energy demand from data centers, coupled with TNB’s Grid of the Future (GoTF) efforts, serves as a driving force behind the APG’s revolution.

It is noted that Malaysia is emerging as a focal point for data center investments in the region, underpinned by increasingly favorable RE policies under the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR).

Highlighting TNB’s recent milestones, Baharin disclosed the completion of six data center projects, totalling approximately 292 megawatts (MW) of demand, with two projects commissioned ahead of schedule.

He emphasized the strong interest in electricity demand, foreseeing a potential equivalent of over 7,000MW by 2035, solidifying the necessity for TNB’s regulated GoTF investments.

Baharin stressed the importance of a flexible grid capable of swiftly accommodating extensive solar installations and facilitating rapid connections within distributed solar networks and energy resources to meet escalating demand.

“Our focus lies in delivering NETR project, complementing ET, and prioritizing green, reliable, and affordable power solutions that empower our customers while ensuring national supply security,” he added.

According to the statement, TNB’s vision extends beyond providing sustainable energy solutions; it encompasses a commitment to the community, stakeholders, and a sustainable future for generations to come.

TNB is a Malaysian utility company in Asia with an international presence in the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan and Cambodia.

Within the RE, as of December 2023, TNB has a total gross portfolio of 3,119MW in Peninsular Malaysia (including 2,536.1MW of large hydro) and 908MW across the United Kingdom, Australia, and Turkiye comprising mainly solar, wind, and hydro energy generation assets.

In addition to being the nation’s primary electricity generation enterprise, TNB also transmits and distributes all the electricity in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and the Federal Territory of Labuan.

As of 31 December 2023, TNB supplies electricity to approximately 10.9 million customers.

It is noted that HVDC uses direct current (DC) for electric power transmission, in contrast with the more common alternating current (AC) transmission systems.

HVDC lines are commonly used for long-distance power transmission, since they require less conductor and incur fewer power losses than equivalent AC lines.

China currently has the longest HVDC link in the world, spanning 1,100 kilovolts (kV) over a distance of 3,300 km with a power capacity of 12 GW.

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