KUALA LUMPUR: The Energy Commission (EC) said the competitive tendering process is its preferred method of procurement, though there will be cases where projects are awarded on a direct negotiation basis subjected to the government’s decision. “Of course our preference is to go with competitive bidding, but there are some situation by the government that can direct us to do something else .… something different. All in all, we still want to achieve a competitive pricing for these projects,” EC chairman Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Majid told reporters after launching a mobile application on energy statistics today. “We are always in consultation with the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water as well as the government. That is their policy decision. We will have to sort of make the proponents comply with our requirements,” he added. The energy sector regulator had previously came under criticism following the award of several power plant projects without tender. Asked of the long-delayed power plant project Track 4A in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Abdul Razak said the project construction work is expected to begin within six months to a year. The project, estimated to cost about RM4.7 billion, is now expected to achieve scheduled commercial operation on July 1, 2020, delayed from the initial target of mid-2018. “Give them some time to get the procurement and so on. But as far as we are concerned, we have given the approval for them to proceed. “I think the project is going on track and they are doing quite well. They have achieved financial close and they are moving on to try and hit the scheduled commissioning date by early 2020,” he added. Track 4A was awarded to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), SIPP Energy Sdn Bhd and YTL Power International Bhd on a direct negotiation basis in May 2014. However, both YTL Power and TNB withdrew from the project in June 2014 and October 2015 respectively. It was reported that YTL Power pulled out of the consortium because of the misconception on the way the project was awarded. TNB, however, returned in May this year by acquiring 51% stake in Southern Power Generation Sdn Bhd (SPG), the special purpose vehicle to develop the 1,440MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant. SIPP Energy, which is a private investment vehicle owned by the Sultan of Johor, owns the other 49% stake. Meanwhile, Abdul Razak noted that any adjustment on the electricity tariff will only be announced in January next year. The government had previously agreed to maintain the power tariff rebate of 1.52 sen/kWh for the second half of 2017. Earlier, he said the mobile application on energy statistics, which is a first-of-its-kind in Asean, will allow the public to access Malaysia’s energy data, including the energy reserves, supply, transformation, consumption and prices. Known as “MyEnergyStats”, the application can be downloaded for free from the Apple Appstore and Google Playstore.