Tuesday, October 19

Sabah, Sarawak seal power supply deal

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Hajiji together with SESB Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ir Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid (second right) who represented Sabah’s side in the agreements signing ceremony.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah through utility company Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) sealed a deal Friday to source out electricity from Sarawak.

Sabah would be importing an initial 30MW to 50MW for a term of 15 years via a 31km 275kV double circuit transmission line (which has a maximum design capacity of 300MW) that will run from Lawas in Sarawak to Mengalong, Sipitang in Sabah.

The interconnection is expected to commence by end of 2023 once the 31km project is completed which is part of Sabah Grid expansion under the SESB Cross Border Transmission Project Plan as well as Sarawak Energy’s Northern Agenda has connected Miri to the northern towns of Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak.

SESB inked the agreements with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) subsidiary company, Syarikat SESCO Berhad.

Witnessing the signing of the Power Exchange and Interconnection Agreement ceremony held virtually on Friday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said the State Government welcomed the initiative as it would boost Sabah’s power supply system.

“It is an effort that will help spur Sabah’s development as underlined in the five-year development plan, Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) launched earlier this year,” he said at the State Administrative Centre (PPNS) near here.

“A stable electricity supply is very important towards ensuring the success of the SMJ development agenda that centred on three main thrusts namely Agriculture, Industrial and Tourism,” said Hajiji.

The agreement marked an important first step towards realising the vision of a common goal for the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines – East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga) to link infrastructures among Asean countries through the Asean Power Grid (APG) that will directly improve the economic level of all countries involved, he said.

The Chief Minister said a more stable electricity supply will directly increase both domestic and foreign investments apart from supporting the growth of industrial manufacturing and upstream sectors as well as creating employment opportunities in the heavy and light industrial sector.

More importantly, he said it would uplift socio-economic levels, especially in rural areas.

Hajiji noted that the agreements augured well with SESB’s vision to become a power company that is effective, credible and a catalyst for the development of Sabah.

“In an increasingly challenging energy industry environment and rising consumer expectations for reliable services, such initiative is imperative for SESB.
“Through the agreement, the State Government hopes it will foster closer relations between Sabah and Sarawak as well promotes greater cooperation in the future that will mutually benefit both states and their people,” he said.

The agreement was signed by SESB Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ir Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid and SEB Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Haji Sharbini Suhaili representing Syarikat SESCO Berhad.

The ceremony was also witnessed online by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Abang Openg from Wisma Bapa Malaysia Petra Jaya in Kuching.

Also in attendance via Zoom was chairman of Tenaga Nasional Berhad/SESB, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, TNB CEO Datuk Baharin Din and SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi.