Norwegian solar integrator Scatec Solar ASA has begun commercial operation of its third 66 MW Merchang solar project in Malaysia. With the new project online, the company is now operating a 197 MW portfolio in the Southeast Asian country.
“We are pleased to have reached another important milestone together with our partners in Malaysia. This also marks the completion of Scatec Solar’s first large scale solar (LSS) project in Southeast Asia, a market where we are working on several interesting opportunities”, says Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar.
Dating back to December 2016, Scatec Solar entered the Malaysian solar market, and in partnership with Itramas Corporation SDN BHD, the solar integrator signed a 21 year PPA with the country’s largest utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). This plant marks the final phase the three plants in the portfolio. The total investment costs for all three projects amounted to MYR 1, 235 million ($293 million).
In October 2017, the solar power company managed to close financing for all three sites by issuing a green bond which attracted MYR 1,000. The developer footed the remainder of the bill itself. Scatec Solar will retain O&M and asset management obligations for all three sites, now that the construction phase of the entire portfolio has been concluded.
Malaysia has been holding periodic tenders since late 2016. The second LSS auction attracted 1.6 GW of proposals with bids ranging from MYR0.33-0.53/kWh. In February this year, the government announced that it will hold the third iteration of its LSS tenders. With a reported 500 MW capacity volume, the government seeks to attract MYR 2 billion ($490 million) for the investment. Bids for the tender are due in August.