Leo Pui Yong appointed CSO of Malaysia’s Tenaga Nasional

The former chief risk officer of Malaysia’s national utilities firm, Tenaga Nasional, will lead the company’s newly established sustainability division.

Electric transmission tower
Malaysian utlities firm Tenaga Nasional is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 with an interim commitment to reduce 35 per cent of its emissions intensity by 2035. Image: Jonathan Hanna on Unsplash

Malaysia’s national utilities company Tenaga Nasional has appointed its former chief risk officer, Leo Pui Yong, as the new chief sustainability officer.

Leo will lead the company’s newly established sustainability division, which was announced by Tenaga Nasional president and chief executive officer Dato’ Indera Ir Baharin Din on 1 June 2023. 

“The new division will push further Tenaga Nasional’s sustainability drive by anchoring on three strategic pillars which are energy sources, ‘energy vector’, and energy usage,” he said at an analysts and media briefing earlier this month.

As CSO of the company effective 1 June, Leo will focus on strengthening sustainability governance and effective deployment of sustainability strategies and initiatives, Tenaga Nasional said in a press statement

Leo Pui Yong

Leo Pui Yong is the former chief risk officer of Tenaga Nasional, the national utilities firm of Malaysia. She was appointed as the company’s new chief sustainability officer effective 1 June 2023. Image: Tenaga Nasional

The company’s sustainability function was previously overseen by a sustainability development committee, which was established in 2017 and led by Tenaga Nasional’s president and CEO. The committee was later reformed to become a council, also chaired by the CEO and comprising Tenaga Nasional’s senior management team.

Tenaga Nasional had earlier committed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, with an interim commitment to reduce 35 per cent of its emissions intensity and 50 per cent of its coal generation capacity by 2035.

To reinforce its energy transition plan, Tenaga Nasional said that it has established an integrated energy transition framework, which includes three key pillars and which will guide the company towards decarbonisation.

Under its energy sources pillar, the company has committed to several expansion plans beginning this year. This includes the construction of a hydropower project in Nenggiri, Kelantan, the refurbishment of another hydropower plant in Perak, the repowering of a 1,400-megawatt gas-powered plant in Terengganu and the finalisation of its partnership with integrated facility management firm Widad for a new 2,100-megawatt combined cycle gas turbine in Kapar, Selangor.

The company has also engaged with parties in Vietnam and the United Kingdom to discuss potential energy projects, it said. In Vietnam, Tenaga Nasional’s subsidiaries have expressed interest in projects that generate power via liquified natural gas and collaborations for energy-related services. In the United Kingdom, Tenaga Nasional’s wholly-owned unit Vantage RE has acquired onshore wind and solar portfolios with the option to develop a battery energy storage system.

Meanwhile, the company’s “energy vector” pillar will focus on discussions with neighbouring countries to expand regional power connectivity. Tenaga Nasional said that its grid division is currently participating in discussions between Malaysian and Singaporean authorities to study the feasibility of a “second link” between Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. An existing electricity interconnector between both countries was upgraded in October 2022 and separately, a two-year trial for Singapore to import electricity commercially from Malaysia began in January this year.

Under the same pillar, Tenaga Nasional is also engaging its Indonesian and Thai counterparts regarding feasibility studies for potential electricity interconnections.

The company’s energy usage pillar meanwhile will focus on increasing renewable energy penetration while growing the group’s revenue source, said Tenaga Nasional. “With 1,926 rooftop solar projects secured with a total of 272-megawatt peak capacity, our (retail solar subsidiary) GSPARX is expected to generate RM70 million (US$15.2 million) in revenue this year,” the company said.

Tenaga Nasional has also installed six electric vehicle chargers at selected locations along two major highways in Peninsular Malaysia, with three more in the pipeline for 2023. In addition, the group has been receiving an increasing number of requests for high voltage supply, mainly by manufacturers and hyperscale data centres

“Tenaga Nasional sees this as both demand growth and potential business opportunities that will have a multiplier effect on the economy, encouraging foreign direct investments of US$43 billion by 2035 and renewable energy investments in Malaysia,” said the company’s CEO Baharin.

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