Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DUN (Day Six): Sarawak govt plans to build up to 6,200MW additional installed power capacity

Posted on June 28, 2011, Tuesday

KUCHING: The state government plans to build up to 6,200 megawatt (MW) of additional installed capacity of electricity generation by 2020 to meet rapid growth in power demand from energy intensive industries being established under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

State Public Utilities Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said about 80 per cent of the targeted amount is expected to be hydro power, including the 2,400MW Bakun Hydroelectric Power (HEP) and 944MW Murum HEP.

“Pending the outcome of the feasibility studies, which will comprehensively address technical, commercial, social and environmental issues, we anticipate that there will be at least five more hydropower plants and one or two coal-powered plants built by 2020 to meet the projected demand,” he said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly today.

Awang Tengah said the state’s current grid installed generating capacity is 1,250MW but the Bakun project, which would start operations in August, was not adequate to meet the projected demand.

The Murum project, currently under construction, is expected to be in operations by end-2013.

Awang Tengah said countries worldwide with hydro potentials are tapping into hydro-power resources and if Sarawak failed to do so, it would lose its global competitiveness.

With the current plan to develop multiple hydro-power projects, sourcing for locals with relevant expertise in specialised technology for hydro-power dam design and construction was challenging, he said.

He said the state government and Sarawak Energy Berhad are open to new ideas, including the paradigm shift that would not only develop hydro-power dams in Sarawak, but also provide locals the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and expertise in a short period of time.

Since last year, SEB has employed 3,150 locals, including 13 at top management level; 91 managers; 239 senior engineers; and technical executives, he added. – Bernama

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