A pod of birds fly chirpily across a wide green field. On one side is gigantic, complex-looking energy factories while a little far-stretched on the sea, big vessels are docked for the unloading of coals.
This is the Sultan Azlan Shah coal-fired Power Station, also known as TNB Janamanjung, that sits on a 325ha land of a man-made island in Manjung district in Perak. It is the largest electricity power producer in Peninsular Malaysia, generating a total of 3,100MW of electricity to millions of households.
The huge area comprises of plant facilities, a coal yard that is as extensive as 27 football fields, a 25-year ash pond and a reserve land. This is also where Integrax Berhad, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) operates.
Integrax pioneers in coal management strategies by efficiently handling coal estimates, coal stocking, consumption and calculation of coal throughput. Its duties here include managing the neighbouring Lekir Bulk Terminal (LBT), a deep water seaport with a natural depth of 20metres, which is currently Southeast Asia’s largest dry bulk unloading facility.
Integrax, together with Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP), also owns and operates Lumut Maritime Terminal, which handles dry bulk, liquid bulk, containers, as well as conventional and project cargos.
LBT has been on the overall ‘despatch’ performance since 2016, recording a much faster time in the unloading of coals
The LBT is the dedicated terminal to handle the arrival of coals mainly from Kalimantan, Indonesia, before they are burnt at the Janamanjung plants to produce energy. LBT is 80 per cent owned by Integrax while another 20 per cent shares belong to Malakoff Berhad.
Compared to previous years, LBT has been on the overall ‘despatch’ performance since 2016, recording a much faster time in the unloading of coals, says Integrax managing director Mohammad Zahir Ismail. In fact, the total unloading time surpasses the contractual guaranteed gross unloading time, he adds.
“Since the takeover, we see big improvements on the engagement and coordination with major clients, performance improvement initiatives and unlocking the true potential of the facilities,” Mohammad Zahir says when met at the recent media visit to the plant.
TNB successfully acquired 100 per cent shares of Integrax in Feb 2016, a year after serving a General Offer for its acquisition. Its market capitilisation stood at RM978mil as of March 2015, prior to the full takeover by TNB.
The takeover is mainly to safeguard the supply chain of the Janamanjung plants operation, and to ensure plants which feed the power to the country is fully secured. Mohammad Zahir says Integrax continues to generate higher revenue stream and profit after tax in 2016, and is expected to improve further with the increase in coal-volume by year end.
“The current volume handled by LBT is around 10 million metric tonnes per year. We expect to reach 13 million metric tonnes per year with the recent completion of Manjung 5 project in September,” he adds.
Currently, LBT handles coals for the existing five plants at the power station. The installation of ‘New Additional Conveyor Line No.3’ from LBT to the Manjung 5 plant, had also been completed since November last year.
“This was 11 months prior to the targeted Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the project, which helped assist the project team in their preparation, commissioning and achieving of the Initial COD,” says Mohammad Zahir, proving that performance-wise, Integrax is not just on empty talk.
He says Integrax’s immediate mission is to close the gap in operational performance and to ensure high reliability and availability of the facilities. This is crucial in order to deliver uninterrupted supply of coals to the entire Manjung Island.
Integrax’s immediate mission is to close the gap in operational performance
“We also need to assist the power station in identifying and providing solutions to major issues in the coal unloading and delivery system,” he adds.
Mohammad Zahir says previously, they were looking at supplying coals to other Asean region, but the current focus is to enhance performance and assist the power plants to optimise efficiency. To achieve these, LBT operates on three shifts round-the-clock, 365 days a year.
“The coals are unloaded daily from the vessels and we make sure the plants are never short on coal supply,” says Mohammad Zahir.
The coals are transported by container vessels, namely Panamax, that can carry up to 75,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT) of shipments, and Capemax, that can carry up to 170,000DWT. Last year alone, LBT received 120 vessels for the unloading of coals.
Mohammad Zahir says once the Panamax docked, LBT has to unload the coals within 58 hours. The work is done with the help of two German-made cranes capable of lifting 40 tonnes each and a larger, custom built crane, capable of lifting 80 tonnes of material.
This is the most efficient power generation technology utilised in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to date.
The coals then go through the 2.7km conveyor lines to reach the four plants, with Manjung 4 utilising the ‘Ultra Super Critical’ (USC) environmental friendly technology. The USC technology requires less coal per megawatt-hour, leading to lower emissions, higher efficiency and lower fuel costs per megawatt. TNB Janamanjung managing director Datuk Shamsul Ahmad says unlike the three earlier plants, Manjung 5, which costs RM6.5 billion, will also use similar USC technology.
The plant will contribute an additional 1,000MW electricity by year end. Shamsul says this technology has set the industrial benchmark in clean electricity, and is being emulated by other power stations in the region.
“This is the most efficient power generation technology utilised in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to date. It also enables power generation in a safe and environmental friendly manner,” he adds.
In line with TNBJ’s motto – “Technology In Harmony With Nature” – the power station is also equipped with a smart weather-based coal dust suppression system for the coal stock yard management, representing the first of its kind in the country.
The plant meets stringent environmental standards set by the World Bank and the Malaysian Department of Environment, and several studies conducted in 2010 proved the plant remains friendly to the environment and communities nearby.
The plants also utilise clean coal combustion technology such as Pulverised Fuel Firing (PFF), Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD), Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP), low sulphur sub-bituminous grade coal, low nitrogen oxide burners and provision for high chimneys, which is 200m for exhaust gas.
“We also conduct air quality checks, air quality monitoring systems and acid air monitoring,” Shamsul says, adding that the surplus fly and bottom ash go to the ash pond.
“The coal ash are not discarded but are sold to the cement industry,” he says.