Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

RM2.3b for 81 Sabah power projects

KIMANIS: A total of RM2.3 billion in direct funds and grants will be allocated through the Sabah Special Project and Delivery Unit (Sapadu) for the implementation of 81 power-related projects in the State for the next five years.

"These projects include various aspects including delivery, distribution and mitigation steps to avoid the total blackout incident last year from happening again as well as to fund a hydro project," said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili. 

Similar allocation, he said, will continue to be disbursed for new projects which have been planned for execution under the 11th Malaysia Plan starting next year. 

"This effort is needed because electricity infrastructure development is a continuous work, in line with Sabah and Labuan's economic development and growth," he said. 

Ongkili said this in his speech during the official commissioning of the Kimanis Main Intake Substation (MIS) and 132kV transmission line here, Monday. 

He said the Federal Government is aware of SESB's financial difficulties in implementing electricity projects in the State and had channelled financial allocation directly such as through Sapadu as well as through soft loans. 

In total, he said, the loans have been used to finance SESB's 19 projects which cost the company RM1.14billion under 10th Malaysia Plan. 

Ongkili added that currently, the physical development of RM2.3 billion Ulu Padas hydroelectric plant will be carried out soon, contributing 180MW of power into the State's grid and will be ready by 2023. 

In the meantime, he said, recognising that the State is in dire need of more stable electricity supply, the Government had approved future power generation capacity development plan such as the development and implementation of "repowering" project in Sandakan and Lahad Datu to stabilise power supply in the east coast. 

"Frequent power interruption in the east coast is due to insufficient generated power capacity as well as disturbance along the East-West interconnection which limits power delivery from west to east," he explained. 

The repowering project will involve the installation of generators in the east coast to add and strengthen East Coast Grid power generation capacity. 

At the same time, he said, the construction of Combined Cycle Power Plant using fuel gas channelled from Tuaran to Sandakan will be completed by 2020, adding the capacity of the East Coast Grid by 300MW while at the same time, making it the grid's anchor power station. 

In terms of renewable energy, Ongkili said a geothermal project in Tawau which is under construction has the potential to generate 30MW while other biomass projects such as Cash Horse Project, Seguntur and Kinabio in Sandakan and TSH in Tawau are generating up to 40MW of power into the grid. 

Meanwhile, Ongkili said with the completion of Kimanis MIS and Stage 1 and 2 of the 132kV transmission line, power generated by IPP Kimanis Power Sdn Bhd and IPP SPR Energy Sdn Bhd can now be distributed into Sabah Grid System. 

"Effectively, both power plants added 385MW capacity to the grid, bringing the total capacity of the whole system to around 1,300MW," he said. 

Ongkili said he hoped with the additional generated power capacity, SESB will have enough reserve margin to accommodate the needs of electricity consumers in Sabah and Labuan for the next two or three years.

Source : Daily Express