Sarawak Energy Bhd has committed to invest up to RM25 billion in the next 10 years to build energy generating plants in the Borneo state.
CEO Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit said the projects include two large hydroelectric dams, three new combined cycle gas plants and at least one additional coal-fired plant.
“Most of the investment will be internally-generated funds, but we are also looking to expand our existing sukuk programme that currently stands at RM15 billion. Maybe about 2017 or 2018, we will need to consider to expand the programme,” he told
The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.
He said Sarawak Energy has further identified 12 sites as being highly prospective for the construction of the hydroelectric projects, which would produce just over 4,000MW.
Sarawak Energy has to date commenced construction of the mega Baram and Baleh hydroelectric projects, with an installed capacity of about 1,200MW each, target for completion by early 2020s.
“We have identified 12 sites, mainly in the Central and Northern regions of Sarawak. The projects would be smaller than Baram and Baleh.
“However, the construction work of any hydroelectric project will only begin once soil investigation is done, comprehensive feasibility studies are done and Social and Environment Impact Assessment reports have been conducted by Sarawak
Energy and approvals obtained from the state government,” said Sjotveit.
The energy providing company has also recently started the construction of the Balingian coal-fired plant with an investment of RM3 billion, in addition to the 500kW transmission backbone with a RM3 billion investment, expected to be completed by end-2016. He said Sarawak Energy projects energy demand in the state to stand at 5,000MW by 2020, while generation capacity is expected to rise to 5,200MW.
“We will continue to pursue the development of indigenous hydro, coal and gas resources to meet power demand under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy agenda and local organic customers.
“With the existing Bakun, Murum under commissioning and the Balingian coal-fired power plant under construction, the state aims for an optimal generation capacity mix of 60% hydro, 20% coal and the
remaining from gas by 2020,” he pointed out.
Sjotveit noted that last year’s demand for electricity in Sarawak was 2,286MW and the grid generation capacity was 2,437MW.
He said while there is sufficient supply of electricity for Sarawak currently, much more energy is required to accommodate future growth.
Besides increasing electricity generation capacity, Sarawak Energy is also committed towards sustainable development in its hydro projects.
“We have been a member of International Hydropower Association since 2010. Being a sustainability partner, Sarawak Energy is committed to implement its projects guided by the principles set out in the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP).
“The adoption of the HSAP is purely on a voluntary basis and goes beyond the legislative requirements. We are a responsible company,” Sjotveit said.