KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) is now an exporter of electricity, with PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara Persero (PLN) as its first foreign client.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit said SEB commenced the export of electricity to west Kalimantan, Indonesia, two weeks ago.
Initially, SEB is supplying 50MW, and this is expected to be gradually increased to 230MW under an agreement it signed with PLN earlier.
It was reported that PLN uses oil for power generation and by switching to renewable hydro power via the Sarawak-West Kalimantan interconnection, the Indonesian utility body could save up to US$100mil annually.
Sjotveit said SEB would next look to Brunei and Sabah for the export of power.
He said with the full commissioning of the 944MW Murum hydroelectric plant last year, this had increased Sarawak’s ratio of clean, renewable and sustainable energy mix.
“Seventy percent of our current energy mix is renewable, affordable and abundant hydropower, and we are progressing towards a balanced generation mix of 60% hydro,20% coal and 20% gas. So we are not completely reliant on a single source,” he said before the signing of a power purchase agreement between SEB and Malaysian Phosphate Additives (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd.
SEB is buying the entire power generated from the federal government’s owned 2,400MW Bakun hydro dam.
Sjotveit said SEB had signed 14 agreements representing a committed energy demand of more than 3,000MW under Phase 1 development of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). The agreements were mostly with energy-intensive indusrties like aluminium and manganese smelters.
“With the boost in generation capacity and low cost of electricity production from Murum and Bakun, we have been able to lower tariffs for our 600,000 customers in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors so that Sarawak can proudly claim to have the lowest average tariff in Malaysia and among the lowest in the Asean region.