Penang water firm makes big profit

George Town (The Star/ANN) - The spat with Kedah over water supply aside, Penang's water authority has announced a profit after tax (PAT) of 28.98 million ringgit (US$9.17 million).

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is the PBA Holdings Bhd (PBAHB) chairman, announced that revenue increased by about 3.5% year-on-year in 2012.

However, rising costs of doing business resulted in a 16.72 million ringgit shortfall in PAT, he added.

Other key factors that contributed to the lower PAT included higher leasing charges paid to Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB), higher licensing fees paid to National Water Services Commission (Span), Tenaga Nasional Bhd's electricity tariff review and rising depreciation costs.

Lim said the company was also concerned with the high domestic consumption in the state.

"In 2012, domestic consumption shot up by 5.9 billion litres. Penang's per capita domestic consumption is 294 litres per capita per day compared to the national average of 210.

"Domestic consumption accounts for 60% of the total water consumption in Penang," he said at the 13th PBAHB annual general meeting here yesterday.

Lim had reiterated recently that Penang would not pay Kedah for drawing water from Sungai Muda claiming that it was taken from the Penang side.

Lim also said yesterday that with the water subsidy in Penang amounting to 66.3 million ringgit last year, Penangites "have to be convinced to save water."

"By saving water, we can reduce the subsidy,'' he stressed.

Lim said PBAHB had already written to Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili to help to expedite the implementation of the Sungai Perak Water Transfer Scheme (SPWTS), a raw water infrastructure project which was under the Federal Government.

PBAHB chief executive officer Jaseni Maidinsa said that the company had further improved its efficiency by reducing its non-revenue water (NRW) percentage to 17.6% in 2012 against 18.4% in 2011.

US$1 = 3.16 ringgit

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