Friday, September 17

‘State aims for full rural electrification by 2025


’THE state targets to achieve full rural electrification by 2025, revealed Rural Electricity and Water Supply Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

In order to accelerate the transformation of rural areas, he said a Cabinet Committee on Rural Transformation has been tasked to oversee the Key Result Area (KRA) of providing electricity supply to rural households in the state.

“The state recognised that almost half of our population live in rural areas dispersed sparsely across geographically challenging terrain especially in the interior.

“Nevertheless, the state is committed to provide everyone with 24-hour electricity under its Rural Transformation Programme (RTP),” he said in his winding-up speech at the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here yesterday.

He pointed out that strategies for full electrification include the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) by extending 33/11kV distribution lines from the existing grid; Rural Power Supply Scheme (RPSS) for new 275/132KV transmission lines and substations which integrate with 33kV zone substations at strategic locations for rural grid extensions under RES; and renewable alternative stand-alone systems such as solar or mini hydro under the Alternative Hybrid Rural Electrification Project (Hybrid) and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) initiatives for remote rural areas which are not grid-connectable in the immediate future.

On a related matter, Dr Rundi said with the state’s rural electrification coverage around 87 per cent at present, there was a need for additional funding of an estimated RM6.7 billion from the federal government for the state to achieve full rural electrification.

“Under the 11th Malaysia Plan from 2016 to 2020, the federal government has approved a ceiling provision of RM1.34 billion for grid extension projects and renewable alternative schemes, while the state government has allocated RM270 million for the renewable Sares projects.

“The funding within this period is expected to benefit a total of 29,700 households.”

He also noted that around RM2.94 billion had been allocated under federal funding from 2009 until the end of 2015 as part of the Federal Government Transformation Programme (GTP) through which 87,300 rural households had been supplied with electricity within this period.