‘Win-win’ scenario if S’wak exports energy to Singapore, says premier

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Abang Johari delivers his keynote address. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Sept 4): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg does not see anything wrong with Sarawak exporting energy to Singapore.

He views the move as a win-win solution for both the state and island republic, whereby Singapore in turn would position its investments in Sarawak.

“There have been a lot of skeptics and negative views from our friends in Peninsular Malaysia on why (Sarawak is) sending (energy) to Singapore, and not to Peninsular Malaysia.

“As you know, we are not a member of the (Malaysian) Energy Commission. If we have been supplying power to Kalimantan, our friend in Indonesia, why can’t we also help Singaporeans?” he said in his keynote address at the World Green and Sustainability Summit 2023 (WGSS) here today.

Sarawak has its own energy laws, and therefore energy supply laws under the Energy Commission are only applicable in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak had agreed to export the maximum ceiling of 1,000 megawatts of energy to Singapore.

“We told Singaporeans that if you need more energy due to energy intensive investments, we can work together and they can position their investments in Sarawak. That is our understanding between Singapore and Sarawak.

“Once they invest, this in turn will create high-income jobs which is why I always emphasise education so we can supply the right human resource that can work with them,” he said.

He also said that should Peninsular Malaysia be short of energy; Sarawak is also ready to export its energy through Johor.

“If you are able to connect through our undersea cable, what we do is we just extend from that cable to Johor who can get energy from us.

“In other words, for the long term this means hydro renewable energy for everybody. What is important is for us to manage climate change so everyone will benefit,” he said.

With Sarawak’s plans to become a regional powerhouse in renewable energy through its goal of generating 15 per cent income of foreign markets through the renewable energy sector, Abang Johari said the state is increasing interconnectivity with other regions through 1,400km of new transmission lines of 500 kilovolts, including 600km of undersea cable across the South China Sea.

He said one of the initiatives was for Sarawak to potentially export hydropower to Singapore through submarine cables.

“Sarawak requires significant energy supply for its industries and as such, Sarawak may be able to provide Singapore with our green and renewable energy generated from our hydroelectric dams.

“This initiative supports Singapore’s aspiration to reduce the carbon footprint of the power sector by importing 30 per cent of its electricity from low-carbon sources by 2025.

“Our initial engagements with Singapore have been positive and we are conducting a survey to explore the potential of power connection between Sarawak and Singapore,” he said.

He added that besides Singapore, the state is looking into exporting electricity to Brunei as well.

Also present were Deputy Premier Dato Sr Dr Sim Kui Hian, KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific chairman Tan Sri Majid Khan, and World Green Organisation president Albert Oung.