The third unit of what is now the largest combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Southeast Asia has entered commercial operation, according to officials with Edra Energy Sdn Bhd, the builder, owner and operator of the Edra Melaka Power Plant (EMPP) in Malaysia.
Dai Honggang, Edra’s chairman, in a statement on March 31 said the 2,242-MW facility will support Malaysia’s energy needs and also provide other economic benefits, including drawing more investment into the region and increasing commercial and industrial development around Melaka, site of the plant in southwestern Malaysia.
Edra Energy is a subsidiary of Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd, an independent power producer based in Kuala Lumpur and part of China General Nuclear Power Corp., which acquired Edra in 2015. The company operates more than a dozen power generation and desalination plants in five countries. Ouyang Yujing, China’s ambassador to Malaysia, was among the dignitaries at Thursday’s launch ceremony.
The plant follows on the success of Southern Power Generation’s 1.4-GW Track 4 facility (also known as the Sultan Ibrahim Power Plant), another CCGT using General Electric’s (GE’s) 9HA.02 gas turbines in Malaysia. Track 4 was POWER’s Plant of the Year in 2021.
Construction Began in 2017
The Edra plant’s construction began in December 2017. Unit 1 came online in December of last year, with Unit 2 starting up at the end of January. Unit 3 began sending electricity to the grid on February 28. Hyundai Engineering served as the project’s EPCC (engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning) lead, with GE supplying the power train, including gas turbines, steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators and generators. Officials said the plant’s 9HA.02 gas turbine technology is able to achieve an efficiency of more than 60% in electricity production.
“The timing is apt as the demand for electricity has shown improvement in tandem with the economic reopening to support the country’s transition into the Covid-19 endemic phase,” said Honggang at a launch ceremony for the plant. “And EMPP’s contribution to the country’s generation capacity will definitely complement the growth of the various economic sectors.”
Officials on Thursday noted the plant’s completion was done despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, and also said construction was achieved with more than 14 million safe man-hours without any lost time to injury.
“The strong collaboration and support from our stakeholders comprising regulators, authorities as well as our engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning partners were the crucial backbone and lynchpin towards the successful completion of EMPP. We offer our praise and appreciation for their limitless commitments in delivering this project,” Honggang said.
Honggang said the plant is expected to generate about 19.6 billion kWh of electricity annually, supplying about 12% of the total power demand in Peninsular Malaysia for at least the next 20-plus years.
“Together as a team, we at Edra will continue to put our utmost efforts to ensure EMPP provides a safe and clean power supply to the people of Melaka and Peninsular Malaysia with the highest efficiency, reliability and safety standards,” Honggang said.
Officials said the plant’s construction created more than 2,500 jobs and also offered technology and knowledge transfer to local industries. They touted the fact that the project’s EPCC partners sourced equipment, materials, and services from Malaysian contractors where possible, including from businesses in Melaka.
Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Utama Sulaiman Md Ali on Thursday said the power plant and associated infrastructure should make investors confident in the area’s growth potential for business investment.
“Specifically, the operations of EMPP, which is strategically located at Alor Gajah [a district in Melaka], will further place Melaka on a positive trajectory in a long-term, driving our economy to a higher level as well as providing great benefits not only for the people in the state, but making its impact felt throughout the country,” said Sulaiman.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).