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Published: Wednesday February 16, 2011 MYT 3:30:00 PM

Sabah stops all bids for coal power plant

KOTA KINABALU: The state government has put a stop to all bids for a coal power plant in Sabah, in a move to protect the environment.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said both the federal and state governments had agreed to pursue alternative energy sources like natural gas to meet Sabah's energy needs.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had asked Tenaga Nasional and Petronas to come up with alternatives to replace the proposed 300MW coal fired plant in Lahad Datu.

Speaking after chairing the state Cabinet meeting Wednesday which endorsed the decision to pursue other energy options, Musa said:

"Sabah needs to increase power supply to meet the increasing development but the state cannot afford to put its natural environment at risk."

Thus, he said it was of paramount importance that the state put priority to protect the environment.

"We must protect the environment especially when it is the biggest tourism draw," he said, adding that the growth of eco-tourism depended on how the state kept its natural environment.

The proposed coal-powered plant in Lahad Datu had come under intense public criticisms. A detailed Environment Impact Assessment was rejected by the Department of Environment.

However, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd through its subsidiary had made attempts to re-submit another report.

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