24 pylons to be built along Penang Bridge to bring power to island

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow showing the assessment rates table for MBPP and MBSP.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has given “conceptual” approval to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to build 100-metre-high pylons next to the Penang Bridge to meet future power supply demands.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the plans were still a work in progress and the state was still in discussions with TNB.

“When they plan to build, they would have to go through the two city councils for planning approval.

“TNB needs to lay new cables to meet the demand for electricity on the island,” he said at a press conference at Komtar today.

Sin Chew Daily reported that 27 pylons would run parallel with the Penang Bridge.

Quoting a source, the daily said the current submarine cables running along the bridge were too costly to maintain, hence the pylon idea.

The new power supply would also help with the state’s reclamation works and other infrastructure projects, such as the approved LRT project which would be ready in about 10 years.

There are currently two submarine power cables connecting the island to Seberang Perai. The island’s gas-based 300MW power plant at Bukit Dumbar is expected to be decommissioned in 2024.

The new pylons will connect to the national grid in Perai, it was reported.

A TNB spokesperson told FMT that more details on the project would be announced soon.

Assessment fees remain very low, says CM

Separately, Chow sought to clear the air over the hike in city council assessment fees from next year, reiterating the fees remained affordable compared with other cities in the country.

He said this was particularly so for assessment rates for residential properties, which would see most homes being levied a maximum of RM500 in Penang Island and less than RM100 in Seberang Perai.

And as for low-cost and low-medium cost units, the hike is at a maximum of RM50, he said.

“We have given discounts by lowering the assessment rates (percentage). If you maintain the current rates, you would end up paying much more.

“We have been prudent to keep the impact as low as possible. Rest assured that all ratepayers have the right to object and we urge all to exercise that right,” he said.

According to the handout given by Chow, landed properties are mostly affected by the council assessment hike, especially on Penang Island, with a hike in fees ranging up to RM500.

The Penang government had announced reduced assessment rates (percentage) for the local councils in the state. However, since the annual value (AV) of the properties has gone up since the last adjustment in 2005, the total assessment fees have gone up.

AV is calculated based on the monthly rent multiplied by 12 months. This amount is multiplied with the assessment rate, which is 6.5%. The resulting sum is what is required to be paid to councils yearly.