Air Selangor allocates RM171.6m to reduce non-revenue water rate

The SPV successfully brought down the NRW rate to 29.6% in 2019 with pipe burst incidents down by 28% to 2,787 cases


PENGURUSAN Air Selangor Sdn Bhd is expected to invest RM171.6 million in capital expenditure (capex) in its non-revenue water (NRW) reduction programmes, after successfully bringing down the NRW rate to 29.6% in 2019 compared to 31.6% in 2018.

CEO Suhaimi Kamaralzaman (picture) said the allocation would, among others, be utilised to reduce pipe burst cases, installation of sensors on the main pipes, replacement of works of old and damaged meters, as well as old pipes.

He said another RM144.5 million has also been allocated to replace all pipes under the pipe replacement programmes, which include frequently burst pipes.

Last year, the Selangor government’s special-purpose vehicle (SPV) spent RM162.2 million to replace 152.52km of pipes, while another RM201.9 million was spent on the NRW reduction programmes.

“Through this initiative, we are confident that the NRW waste can be further reduced year-on-year (YoY), allowing us to serve our customers better,” Suhaimi said at a media briefing after sharing Air Selangor 2019’s performance in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

According to the report card, Selangor recorded 9.6 pipe burst cases per 100km, lower than the international standard of 13 cases per 100km.

Air Selangor manages about 29,044km of water pipes length, supplying 2.4 million customer accounts or 8.4 million consumers.

Suhaimi is optimistic that the target of a 1% reduction in the “loss water” rate annually can be achieved in the following years.

The report also indicated that the pipe burst incidents had significantly reduced by 28% from 3,871 cases in 2018 to 2,787 cases reported last year.

Pipe leaks cases, however, increased YoY to 108,759 in 2019 from 104,033 in 2018. Suhaimi said the increase showed that the leak detection programme carried out internally has borne fruits.

He said the Selangor water consolidation — via the acquisitions of Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash) in the last five years — has successfully resulted in cutting down Air Selangor’s operating expenditure (opex).

“Previously, our water purchase cost was 36%, but after the acquisition, the cost that is known as water treatment cost has decreased by 12% to only 24%.”

He said the savings will be channelled into Air Selangor’s capex investment for a better quality water supply system, but it will not guarantee any significant change in the water tariff.

Last year, Air Selangor spent a total of RM501.5 million in capex, slightly higher than RM446.7 million in 2018.

The report did not reveal how much is Air Selangor’s opex, but Suhaimi said the company’s spending by value has increased in 2019 by 4.9% from the preceding year.

“In 2019, apart from tendering and overseeing a record high capex award of RM786.15 million, the procurement department continued to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness through the implementation of the annual procurement planning, framework agreements and panel agreements.”

In 2019, Air Selangor also managed to increase its reserve margin to 10.9% from 4.51% in 2018, with water supply coming from the 34 water treatment plants (WTPs) including the newly commissioned Stream B of Langat2 WTP and Labohan Dagang WTP.

Suhaimi said Air Selangor’s Intelligent Command Centre (ICC) is expected to be fully commissioned by early 2021. Located in KL, ICC is currently partially commissioned since mid-2019.

“A new feature of ICC is the integration of the online hydraulic model, which is an end-to-end integration system for monitoring, analysing and modelling distribution systems in real time.

“This system is based on the realtime hydraulic data with hydraulic computer simulation models and statistically prediction tools.”