The Sustainable Energy Development Authority of Malaysia (Seda Malaysia) has defended its approval of multiple applications for lucrative solar feed-in tariff (FiT) quotas by the former chief secretary’s daughter, saying they met technical and financial requirements.
Members of parliament Tony Pua and Nurul Izzah Anwar earlier accused Seda Malaysia of being partial to Suzi Suliana, the daughter of Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan (now Petronas chairman), who was allocated 32.4% (45.9 MW) of the solar photovoltaic (PV) quotas under 12 companies linked to her and husband Todd Michael Morath.
Pua had said the couple has two business partners, and the 12 newly set up companies had no track record and no employees. Eight of the twelve companies were said to be set up three weeks before the application deadline on December 2nd 2011 and nine of these had paid-up capital of only RM100 each.
In a press release issued on July 20th 2012, Seda Malaysia says that applications submitted by the companies related to Sun Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd were made through the e-FiT Online system and all complied with the rules and regulations stipulated under the Renewable Energy Act 2011.
“The e-FiT Online system is designed to process the application in a transparent and fair manner with no human intervention on a first-come first-served basis. This means the application of the renewable energy quota under the FiT is not through a bidding or tender process,” it says.
It says the system allows only one application at a time for fairness and stability but added that “the time difference between some of the submissions is only milliseconds, and the solar PV quota allocated for non-individuals was exhausted within two hours of after Seda Malaysia launched the e-Fit.”
“During the opening on December 1st 2011, 69 companies succeeded in getting renewable energy quotas including companies related to Sun Energy Ventures. The ability of an applicant to secure multiple quotas is not peculiar to Sun Energy Ventures only; there are other companies which have also been equally successful.”
Once approval has been given, a successful FiT approved holder will need to meet set milestones by certain dates, including getting a licence from the Energy Commission whereby the company needs to show a minimum RM200,000 (US$63,500) paid-up capital or 2% of project cost, whichever is higher. Other requirements include showing to Seda Malaysia its financing agreement, loan draw downs, and payment to the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
Seda Malaysia adds that the ultimate objective of the RE Act 2011 was to catalyse the generation of RE and to encourage private sector investment in the area. As such the system did not place any limit on the extent of the involvement or investment made by any particular investor except for foreign ownership restrictions. Earlier, Seda Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Fong Chan Onn insisted (but did not give details) that Suzi’s companies had met all technical and financial criteria, and said the ministry was looking into taking legal action against Pua.
Members of the public, media, industry players and all related organisations are invited to attend a feed-in tariff forum organised by Seda Malaysia to provide in-depth knowledge on the FiT process and the e-FiT online system.
Those interested are requested to RSVP for either one of two sessions (9.30am or 2.00pm) on Wednesday, 25th July 2012 at Auditorium Seda Malaysia, Galeria PjH, Aras 9, Jalan P4W, Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4, 62100 Putrajaya, Malaysia.