PONTIANAK: Malaysia’s power trading has moved a step forward after successfully executing the Kalimantan Barat (Kalbar) – Sarawak 275kv Interconnection in West Kalimantan, offering the much needed power supply to the people in the country.
Noted as the first of such trade for Malaysia, Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the project, which is operated by the Bengkayang Substation in West Kalimantan, is a model for power trading between the Asean countries.
Since it began operating on Jan 21 this year, the substation and its circuit has been supplying about 70mw of power as of May 9 to West Kalimantan and the surrounding area.
“We, both the Malaysian and Indonesian teams, are proud to be able to execute this long awaited dream of power trading between neighbouring countries,” Ongkili said.
The substation started construction in 2013 after Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Sjotveit and PT PLN (Indonesian state-owned electricity company)president director Nur Pamudji signed a power exchange agreement detailing the export of electricity from Sarawak to West Kalimantan.
To ensure the smooth development of the project, both countries have set up a joint technical committee to expedite the process of power trading.
“I commend the committee members from both countries for their efforts, after numerous trial tests, the Bengkayang Substation is now working very well and the people here in West Kalimantan have been enjoying electricity since earlier this year.
“Both participating countries are proud of this successful development and I am also proud to announce that this Kalbar — Sarawak 275kv Interconnection is the first successful power trading project for Malaysia,” he said to the media after he visited the substation on Tuesday together with the Governor of West Kalimantan, Dr Cornelis M.H.
The minister, who is currently in Pontianak for a working visit, also said other projects, located in Peninsular Malaysia (Melaka) – Sumatera, is still under development, while the Nunukan (East Kalimantan) – Sabah (Tawau) is at the planning stage.
The minister, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the two other projects between Malaysia and Indonesia will also be successful developments following the success of the Kalbar – Sarawak 275kv Interconnection.
With this, Ongkili hoped the Asean leaders can be assured that the long proposed project Asean Power Grid (APG) is not an impossible dream to achieve.
“SEB and PT PLN have already proven that power trading between countries can be done successfully despite a lot of concern regarding technical standard, grid stability and tariff pricing,” he opined.
This energy development, he further explained, is highly recommended because it comes from renewable energy resources, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.