Hajiji launches Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan

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Hajiji (left) being briefed by Abdul Nasser on the SE-RAMP 2040

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor today launched the Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan 2040 (SE-RAMP 2040) to address the state’s near-term needs while building future long-term resilience of the energy industry.

The Master Plan outlines the state’s direction and strategic initiatives moving forward and in anticipation of the state government’s taking over of the regulatory powers for electricity supply and renewable energy from the federal government in January next year.

“The state government is committed to ensuring the SE-RAMP 2040 is implemented systematically and effectively,” Hajiji said at Menara Kinabalu near here.

Under the Master Plan, the Sabah Energy Council will be set up under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to monitor, support and provide guidance on the implementation of the planned short, medium and long-term initiatives.

And, among the objectives of SE-RAMP 2040 is to ensure dependable power supply, with equal access and comprehensive coverage at an affordable price in line with the government’s aspiration to continue making power accessible to the people while ensuring sustainability for Sabah’s future.

“It is also to complement the National Energy Policy launched last year, and the National Energy Transition Roadmap 2050 (NETR) launched in August this year,” Hajiji said.

He also said SE-RAMP 2040, formulated by the Energy Commission of Sabah (ECoS), covered various strategies and initiatives to balance the energy trilemma to ensure energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability.

“We know and realise that the power supply issue in Sabah has been plaguing the people for so long and the government is committed to addressing this legacy issue and make every effort to resolve it. “Furthermore, with the Hala Tuju SMJ investor-friendly policy, basic infrastructure needs such as electricity and water supply remain a priority.

“This plan will certainly pave the way for us to ramp up electricity supply for industry needs, and I want ECoS to do its best level for the benefit of the people and state,” he said.

The Chief Minister disclosed that the state government had already secured several high-impact investments from SK Nexilis (copper coil manufacturing), Kibing (solar gas) and Esteel (integrated processing mill and green steel project).

With the SE-RAMP 2040 in place, he said Sabah hoped to attract more investors to promote economic growth, create economic spill-overs while providing job opportunities for local Sabahans. And according to him, the setting up of ECoS through the Sabah Energy Commission Enactment 2023 and Gas Supply Enactment 2023 following the federal hand-over of gas regulatory power and the Energy Commission function in January of this year was historical for Sabah.

“It shows the deep commitment and cooperation of both state and federal governments in implementing the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63),” Hajiji said, adding that this Master Plan was also one of the successes of the state government in getting Sabah’s rights under the MA63.

Meanwhile, he reiterated that the state government would be taking over the regulatory authority on power supply and renewable energy from the Federal Energy Commission and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), respectively, three months from now on January 3 next year.

“By having total regulatory control of the energy sector in Sabah through ECoS, which has already been carrying out its duties as the on-shore gas supply regulator, will also regulate the state’s electricity and renewable energy supply.

“This means the state government will be able to decide on matters involving enactment of laws, policy-making, electricity and renewable energy infrastructures in tandem with Sabah’s holistic development plan,” he said.

Hajiji said even though ECoS would only be taking full control next year, it had already moved ahead to prepare the master plan for Sabah’s gas, electricity and renewable energy for the next 17 years.

“I fully support the SE-RAMP 2040 as it will provide guidelines for the government and players of the gas and electricity sector and ensures that Sabah’s energy industry is monitored closely and continue to grow for the benefit of the people.

“It is the pride of the state government because we will be able to chart our path to drive the gas and electricity supply sector development and since we are the ones who better understand our state’s energy needs,”Hajiji said.

ECoS chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid said the SE-RAMP 2040 has adopted 16 strategies to address the energy trilemma of energy security, accessibility and affordability, and environmental sustainability.

Among the strategies, he said, were ensuring a sufficient generation reserve margin, diversified fuel mix, and new energy sources and technologies for the longer term to achieve energy security.

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