SCB to start building hydro-power plant in Sumatra in 2 months


Toh Chee Ching

KUCHING: Sarawak Cable Bhd (SCB) will commence construction of a mini-hydro power plant in north Sumatra in two months.

Group managing director and chief executive officer Toh Chee Ching (pic) said the project’s site survey has been completed and in progress now was the detailed engineering design of the proposed 10MW plant.

“It will cost about RM80mil and take 18 months to build,” he told StarBiz after the company AGM and EGM here yesterday.

SCB has a 65% equity interest in PT Inpola Mitra Elektrindo (IME), which has been awarded a power purchase agreement by PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara Persero (PLN) to design, finance and construct a mini-hydro power plant in north Sumatra.

When the plant is commissioned, IME will sell the electricity to PLN for 20 years. The concession is renewable.

Toh said SCB, which planned to increase its stake in IME, has secured financing from a local bank to part-fund the mini-hydro power plant project. Internal funding would be between RM20mil and RM25mil.

At the EGM, shareholders approved a proposed rights issue that would raise up to RM77.63mil for the group’s working capital and capital expenditure as well as pare down bank borrowings.

SCB is undertaking a renounceable rights issue of 77.63 million rights shares at an issue price of RM1 each on the basis of one rights share for every two existing shares.

Also approved was a bonus issue of 46.58 million new shares on the basis of one bonus share for every five shares.

Of the gross proceeds from the rights issue, about RM66.63mil or 75% will be utilised to finance the group’s existing and future projects for the power utility industry while RM10mil will be used to repay part of the RM106.5mil bank borrowings.

On SCB’s earlier plan to embark on several mini-hydro dam projects in Peninsular Malaysia, Toh said the proposals were under evaluation.

Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), a major shareholder of SCB, is currently building the 944MW Murum hydroelectric dam in Kapit Division. SEB has plans to build several more dams in the state.

Toh said SCB group has tendered for more than RM1bil worth of power transmission line projects in Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

“Our latest tender is for a transmission line project worth RM30mil in Malacca for Tenaga Nasional Bhd,” he added.

SCB’s wholly-owned subsidiary Trenergy Infrastructure Sdn Bhd is currently implementing 13 transmission line projects in several states.

Last week, it was awarded a RM32.87mil contract by SEB to build the proposed 132kV Tudan-Miri Airport transmission line.

Toh said the 500kV Sarawak backbone power transmission network was the single biggest transmission line project SCB had bid for. The project, which was re-tendered by SEB, will be awarded in the next few months.

“Our future business may be more on the construction of power sub-stations than on transmission lines in Sarawak,” he added.

Besides undertaking transmisson line projects, SCB group manufactures cables, wires, conductors low and high tension distribution steel poles, street lighting columns and highway guardrails among others. The group is also into hot-dip galvanising business.

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