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Sarawak not ready to 'export' hydropower to peninsula

Bernama  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Sarawak is not ready to export its hydro energy to Peninsular Malaysia for now.

Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjoveit said this was because it had committed all its hydro and coal energy output to the state.

"We have, for instance, signed 14 committed agreements to supply energy to heavy industries.

"These include those coming up in the Similaju Industrial Park in Bintulu, which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (Score)," Sjoveit said.

He told reporters this after co-launching the Murum Penan Festival 2015 at Tegulang Penan Resettlement in Long Wat near Belaga yesterday.

At the ceremony with him were Penan Affairs/Rural Local Government Assistant Minister John Sikie Tayai and Culture and Heritage Assistant Minister Liwan Lagang.

Sjoveit said the agreements would mean the creation of 50,000 skilled jobs, which are very crucial for the state economy and progress.

He said the state now had the Bakun Hydro dam providing 2,400MW; Murum, 944MW; and Balingian Coal Fired Station, 600MW.

"It is technically possible to supply energy to the peninsula through submarine cables but this would require very heavy investment," he said.

On the proposed Baleh Dam, Sjoveit said SEB was ready to undertake its implementation, estimated to cost RM8 billion, inclusive of RM4 billion in local business opportunities.

"But I must stress here the decision to go ahead with Baleh lies with the state government, although we have very strong support from the local communities. We can then export energy to the peninsula," he said.

On the controversial proposed Baram Dam, he said it was up to the people in the vicinity to decide whether they wanted it.

Sjoveit claimed its implementation would open up the area "to very big development which would also benefit the people themselves".

Earlier in his speech, Sjoveit said the RM4.1 billion Murum Dam project was scheduled to be launched today by Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud.

"But the prevailing haze has not made this possible out of security and health reasons. This is the second time its opening has been postponed. We will wait until early next year," he said.

- Bernama

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