Sungai Rasau LRA to tackle Klang Valley water woes, says Air Selangor

It is part of the RM35b investment approved by SPAN last year and is estimated to be completed by 2028

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic credit:

PENGURUSAN Air Selangor Sdn Bhd is leveraging a RM6 billion water treatment plant (LRA) project in Sungai Rasau to address water disruptions in the Klang Valley.

Its CEO Suhaimi Kamaralzaman said the project, which is expected to deliver 700 million litres a day (MLD) upon the completion of its first phase, is part of the agency’s main effort to increase the current reserve margin in the Klang Valley.

“We have to continue looking at new water resources, which calls for new LRAs. At the moment, the most urgent project is the Sungai Rasau treatment plant which will be supplying about 700 MLD upon completion where we will leverage the distribution,” he said in a virtual press conference yesterday.

Selangor’s treated water reserve margin currently sits dangerously below the key performance indicator set by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) of 10% to 15%. The state’s reserve margin was at 1.5% as of the second quarter of 2020.

Sungai Rasau LRA is Air Selangor’s latest project which involves RM4 billion worth of construction work for Phase 1 and an additional RM2 billion for Phase 2.

The LRA is part of the RM35.4 billion investment approved by SPAN last year and is estimated to be fully completed by 2028.

Suhaimi said Air Selangor managed to reduce non-revenue water (NRW) level in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Putrajaya to 28.6% in 2020, a reduction of 1.1 percentage points from 29.7% in 2019. NRW is the amount of loss of treated water before it could be distributed to consumers due to several factors, including leakages or metering inaccuracies.

He added that the reduction is equivalent to a saving of 43 MLD or the capacity of a medium-sized LRA.

“The reduction is equivalent to about 43 MLD of treated water that could be supplied to the consumers. We cannot ease our efforts in reducing the NRW rate as it will contribute to the frequency of leakages, broken pipes and wastages in KL, Selangor and Putrajaya,” he said.

The reduction also exceeded the target set by SPAN at 29.2% for the year.

On Air Selangor’s expenditure for 2021, Suhaimi said the agency will spend about RM293 million for programmes and initiatives to further reduce the NRW level and achieve its current targets of 25% by 2025 and 15% by 2049.

“Under this year’s budget, we have allocated RM170 million for the replacement of critical and old pipes and RM16 million for the replacement of old meters.

“We have also set a target for our team, which consists of specialists and inspectors, to find about 78,000 pipe leakages this year.

“The allocation for this also includes the replacement of old asbestos cement pipes, the establishment of 75 district metering zones and installation of 1,780 leakage sensors,” he said.

Suhaimi said Air Selangor has managed to double the reduction rate of NRW level from the average 0.5% when the work was previously outsourced to 1% currently.

Moving forward, Air Selangor will continue to utilise the government’s fund to achieve the targets of NRW level set by SPAN, Suhaimi said.

“The ideal rate for NRW level depends on the rate which has been reduced to a rate which is no longer economically viable for us to pursue.

“At the moment, the incentives given by the federal government through grants are a huge incentive for us to reduce the NRW level according to targets set by SPAN,” he said.