Thursday, April 15

State completes takeover of Bakun

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SEB signs deal with MoF to assume control of SHSB, giving ownership of Bakun HEP plant to the state

An aerial view of Bakun HEP.

Sharbini Suhaili.

KUCHING: The state government acquired the Bakun hydroelectric power (HEP) plant from the federal government through the take-over of Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB) by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) yesterday.

The deal was closed with signing and close-out of items detailed in the Share Sale Agreement (SSA) between SEB and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) .

According to Sarawak Energy Berhad’s (SEB) chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili, the agreement was signed in Kuala Lumpur between SEB and Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani representing MoF.

Following this, Sarawak Energy will assume control of SHSB, the owner and operator of Bakun Hydroelectric Power plant.

“I am pleased to announce that we now own the 2,400MW Bakun HEP, the largest hydropower plant in the country. This achievement was made possible through our Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg’s strong leadership and support.

“This will allow us to consolidate power production, enable us to have full ownership and operatorship of all major electricity generation facilities in Sarawak. We are grateful to the Sarawak government for the continuing trust in Sarawak Energy to deliver the state’s strategy to develop and consolidate Sarawak’s energy resources,” he said yesterday.

He added that the SSA to acquire Bakun HEP for RM2.5 billion was completed at Sarawak Hidro’s office in Selangor yesterday, in the presence of representatives from all parties involved.

Following the completion of the SSA, SEB Power Sdn Bhd – a wholly owned subsidiary of SEB – has acquired 100 per cent share in SHSB from the MoF and Pesuruhjaya Tanah Persekutuan. MoF will maintain the current Letter of Undertaking and Government Guarantee on SHSB’s existing debts.

The acquisition is being funded through a mix of SEB’s internally generated funds and Sukuk financing.

Earlier yesterday, Sarawak Hidro’s chief executive officer cum managing director Zulkifle Osman had told The Borneo Post that both parties were finalising the technical details of the sale and purchase agreement (S&P).

He also said at end of July that the mammoth Bakun HEP was on the final phase of S&P between MoF and the state government after the Sukuk owners of Bakun HEP agreed during its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held in Putrajaya for the change of ownership from MoF to the Sarawak government.

The strategic move by the state government to acquire the 2,400MW Bakun HEP ‘lock, stock and barrel’ at a cost of RM2.5 billion from the federal government was announced by chief minister on March 8.

Abang Johari had said the acquisition of Bakun HEP would make Sarawak a powerhouse, enabling it to lower the electricity tariffs for local consumers and exporting the power surplus to neighbouring countries.

He said the strategic agreement was achieved between him and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in February, and that the RM6 billion balance would be serviced by SEB.

The chief minister had said the remaining RM6 billion loan would be managed by SEB as part of its cash flow but assured that the income from Bakun would be substantial enough and could even earn profit from the sale of electricity to its consumers.