Tuesday, September 24

SHSB targeting to seal agreement with SEB

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BELAGA: Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd (SHSB), the developer of the Bakun hydroelectric dam, targets to seal the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) by the year end.

SHSB managing director Zulkifle Osman said the PPA discussion with SEB was ongoing with three meetings held so far. However, there was no discussion on the tariff yet.

“There were speculations on the tariff in the newspapers recently. Actually, we have not come to an agreement on the tariff as we have not even discussed it. We only discussed the technical part.

“We have to seal the PPA before the end of the year and this is our target. Hopefully, by December we should know the tariff,” he told media representatives who were taken on a three-day site visit here from Thursday.

Zulkifle said SHSB and SEB would meet again at the end of this month to discuss the cost of the project before discussing the tariff.

SHSB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, is entrusted with developing and managing the project since May 2, 2000.

The Bakun hydroelectric dam, 205m high and creating a reservoir of 695 sq km, is the second tallest concrete rock-filled dam in the world.

It will have the capacity to generate 2,400MW of power.

The Bakun catchment area situated at the Balui River, about 37km upstream of Belaga town, covers an area of about 14,759 sq km, which is about 12 per cent of the state and equal in size to Kelantan.

Zulkifle said 96 per cent of the civil construction had been completed and the Bakun dam was expected to be completed this December.

Asked when the Bakun dam could start producing power, he said SHSB was still awaiting the permit from the state government to impound the reservoir.

“It takes seven months to enable the water to reach the minimum operating level of 195 metres above sea level for tests of the turbines to be carried out.

“Once we reach 195m, one turbine can start generating the minimum of 200MW. If we are given (the permit to impound) by September or October this year, the dam can produce power by June or July next year,” he said.

Zulkifle hoped the final cost of the project would be kept between RM7 billion and RM7.3 billion. — Bernama