KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is sourcing out electricity supply from neighbours, Sarawak, as part of the initiatives undertaken by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to stabilise the state’s power supply system.
State’s utility company, SESB inked the deal with Syarikat SESCO Berhad, a subsidiary of Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) that will see Sabah importing an initial 30MW to 50MW for a term of 15 years via a 31km 275kV double circuit transmission line (which has a maximum design capacity of 300MW).
The transmission line will run from Lawas in Sarawak to Mengalong, Sipitang in Sabah.
The interconnection is expected to commence operation by end of 2023 once the 31km project is completed which is part of Sabah Grid expansion under the SESB Cross Border Transmission Project Plan as well as Sarawak Energy’s Northern Agenda has connected Miri to the northern towns of Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak.
The cost to build the interconnection infrastructure was put at RM33 million, however SESB did not disclosed the cost price of the electricity to be purchased.
Witnessing the signing of the Power Exchange and Interconnection Agreement ceremony held virtually on Friday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said the State Government welcomed the initiative as it would boost Sabah’s power supply system.
“It is an effort that will help spur Sabah’s development as underlined in the five-year development plan, Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) launched earlier this year,” he said at
the State Administrative Centre (PPNS) near here.
“A stable electric supply is very important towards ensuring the success of the SMJ development agenda that centred on three main thrusts namely Agriculture, Industrial, and Tourism,” said Hajiji.
The agreement marked an important first step towards realising the vision of a Common Goal for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines – East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) to link infrastructures among Asean countries through the Asean Power Grid (APG) that will directly improve the economic level of all countries involved, he said.
The Chief Minister said a more stable electricity supply will directly increase both domestic and foreign investments apart from supporting the growth of industrial manufacturing and upstream sectors as well as creating employment opportunities in the heavy and light industrial sector.
More importantly, he said it would uplift socio-economic levels, especially in rural areas.
Hajiji noted that the agreement augured well with the SESB’s vision to become a power company that is effective, credible, and a catalyst for the development of Sabah.
“In an increasingly challenging energy industry environment and rising consumer expectations for reliable services, such initiative is imperative for SESB.
“Through the agreement, the State Government hope it will foster a greater relationship between Sabah and Sarawak as well as create more cooperations in the future that will mutually benefit both states and their people,” he said.
Representing SESB in the signing was Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ir. Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid while SEB Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Haji Sharbini Suhaili signed on behalf of Syarikat SESCO Berhad.
The ceremony was also witnessed online by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Openg
from Wisma Bapa Malaysia Petra Jaya in Kuching.
Also in attendance via Zoom was Chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad/SESB Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, TNB CEO Datuk Baharin Din and SEB Chairman, Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi.-BorneoGazette