Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia plans to build two
nuclear power plants to boost its energy requirements, a top
minister said on Monday.
The plants that would generate 1,000 megawatts each
with the first plant ready for operation in 2021. The second
plant is expected to be ready a year later.
"Nuclear had become a more prominent choice in
balancing the energy source due to lower maintenance
cost and lower tariffs in the long-run," Malaysian Energy,
Green Technology and Water Minister Peter Chin said.
The government would engage an international
consultant to evaluate the location and requirement for such
plants to be built, Chin said.
"Hopefully, by 2013 or 2014, we will able to finish
evaluating this. As for calling of tenders, we hope it will be
done by 2016," he said.
Chin said Malaysia was heavily reliant on gas and
coal for its electricity supply as it was the government`s
policy to reduce reliance on fossil fuel.
Gas accounts for 64 percent of the country`s energy
generation while the remainder came from coal.
Malaysia began operation of a 1MW Triga research
reactor in 1982 and has had an international nuclear
safeguards agreement in place since 1972.
Recently, Malaysia also tightened export control
laws to thwart the possibility of nuclear technology
smuggling, according to national news agency Bernama.