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Manjung, Perak: The Small Town that Powers A Third Of Malaysia

What do you know about Manjung? Located in Perak, this quaint town in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia, may well have gone unnoticed in your journey to Pangkor. While the citizens of Malaysia are busy getting on with hectic modern living, glued to computer screens, swiping away on mobile phones, enjoying the refreshing breeze from their air conditioning, they may well have the people of Manjung to thank for.

This hub of industry and agriculture in the state of Perak is responsible for almost a third of all power generated in Peninsular Malaysia, and key to that mission is the electricity powerhouse of Manjung. Now there’s a newcomer to town. The lights are on at Manjung 5, and they’re keeping your lights on too.

Delivering power with ingenuity

Manjung power station is a monument to human ingenuity, producing 4,100MW power across 325 hectares on a man-made island just off the coast of Perak. Under the management of a wholly owned TNB subsidiary, this vital corner of Malaysia’s power infrastructure is responsible for delivering high availability, high reliability power to the nation.

Alongside three 700MW generating facilities, launched by the Sultan of Perak in 2005, this man-made island is also home to the 1000MW of ultra-super-critical coal power generated by Manjung 4. This colossus of power generation began operations in 2015, utilising the latest power technologies to provide the most efficient coal-fired power plant in Southeast Asia. Now Manjung 5 is here to challenge for that crown.


Manjung 5

The story of Manjung 5

What difference does three days make? A remarkably large difference, if you want to celebrate the completion of a critical national infrastructure project.  Manjung 5 entered commercial operations on the 28th of September this year, 3 days ahead of its target date. Today it’s responsible for 1,000 MW of power that’s lighting up homes across the nation, and with the kind of power generated at Manjung 5, that’s a lot of homes. With generating capacity like this, switching the lights on at Manjung 5 means generating the power for roughly 2 million Malaysian homes.

 Manjung 5 means generating the power for roughly 2 million Malaysian homes.

After 45 months of construction, this RM6 billion project is now fired up and delivering 1,000 MW of ultra-super-critical coal-fired power to Malaysia. Ultra-super-critical offers the gold standard of coal-fired power generation, ensuring that power generated at Manjung 5 is undertaken in the most efficient manner possible. These technologies are vital for the responsible, sustainable continuing use of coal in power stations like Manjung 5. Ultra-super-critical technology ensures a reduction of around 4-5% of CO2 emissions, and greater than 90% reduction of SO2, compared to previous coal-fired units located in this critical hub of Malaysian power generation.

Why do we need more power?

Malaysia’s rapid economic growth is driving the continued growth in power demand. As of 2005, power generation was just over 80,000GWh, by 2035, that demand will reach 180,000GWh, according to a Malaysian Energy Commission report. Meeting that need with reliable base-load power is why efficient, coal-fired power plants like Manjung 5 continue to play a vital role in supporting our power needs. In meeting those needs, Manjung 5 sets out the gold standard for how such projects should be delivered, on schedule, and with efficiency as a driving force. Consider that just a 1% increase in efficiency at a coal-fired power plant can result in around 2-3% reduction in CO2.

1% increase in efficiency at a coal-fired power plant can result in around 2-3% reduction in CO2.

Malaysia’s power needs will continue to rise in line with our journey towards developed nation status. Manjung 5 represents another important step on the way towards meeting that growing thirst for energy. While key targets are in place to reduce the overall energy intensity of our country, the future power landscape will still require significant investment in power generation.

So next time you turn on a light, or sit beneath the cool breeze of your air conditioning, spare a thought for the powerhouse of Manjung. With 4,100 MW of high-availability electricity generation capacity to power the nation, this vital part of Malaysia is working hard to keep the lights on.

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