KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) expects to invest between RM3bil and RM4bil in a 2x400MW gas-fired power plant project in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu to further boost its power generation capacity.
Group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili (pic) said about 30% of construction works had been completed for the first 400MW combined cycle gas turbine block project.
“The first block project is expected to commence testing for commissioning in mid-2020,” he said in his maiden media briefing at Wisma SEB last Friday.
Sharbini who took over from Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit as CEO 16 months ago said construction works for the second 400MW block project is expected to commence testing in 2021.
A consortium led by General Electric is the contractor for the project.
The proposed new blocks are located within the existing SEB Tanjung Kidurong power plant, which has a current generating capacity of 500MW.
On completion, the two new blocks will be integrated with the existing power plant.
Sharbini pointed out that the project cost would also include improvement and upgrading works to the existing facilities.
SEB also owns and operates a gas-fired power plant with capacity of 100MW in Miri.
Gas made up about 13% of SEB’s current generating capacity of about 4,700MW. Renewable hydropower made up some 75% of the generation mix while the remaining electricity is generated by coal-fired and diesel plants.
According to Sharbini, the 2x300MW Balingian coal-fired plant project in Mukah Division which is estimated to cost RM3bil, is expected to come onstream by the end of the year.
On the Baleh hydroelectric dam project, he said construction works for the proposed diversion tunnel undertaken by China’s Sinohydro Corp had started and was scheduled to be completed by late-2019 or early 2020.
SEB had earlier awarded the dam project’s main civil works package to China’s Gezhouba Group Co Ltd and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd’s joint venture with a 70:30 equity ratio.
The design work for the main dam structure is currently under way.
Sharbini said SEB had shortlisted three consortiums bidding for the project’s mechanical and engineering package, which is expected to be awarded by this June.
Also yet to be awarded is the contract for the project’s power transmission line.
The 1,285MW Baleh dam project, which will cost about RM8bil is slated for completion in 2025.
The 188m high concrete faced rockfilled dam will be located on the Baleh River in the upper Rejang Basin where the 2,400MW Bakun dam and 944MW Murum dam are located.
He said SEB’s mini hydro dam project Kota 2 (10.5MW) in northern Sarawak was due for completion in four months’ time.
Sharbini said SEB had an average annual capital expenditure (capex) of RM3bil from three years ago up to 2025.
Besides the dam, coal-fired and gas-fired power plant projects, SEB’s other key projects include a new 500kV backbone transmission line with its critical parts completed last August and numerous new substations.
The backbone transmission line provides an alternative double-circuit line from the major generation sources in the north to Sibu and Kuching.
The annual capex is funded by SEB’s RM15bil sukuk musyarakah programme (2011/2036), of which RM10.5bil has been drawn down and its internally-generated fund.
For financial year ended Dec 31, 2016, SEB recorded net profit of RM545.8mil on revenue of RM4.15bil.
“SEB’s generation capacity will be increased to 5,449MW in 2020 and 7,115MW in 2025 compared to 896MW in 2000.
“In the next few years, our strategy is to grow on a sustainable basis.
“We (SEB) want to benchmark ourselves with regional utility bodies such as Singapore and Hong Kong,” he added.
Sharbini said SEB’s unsubsidised tariffs at an average of 28.5 sen per kWh was the lowest in Malaysia.
This is in comparison to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (39 sen per kWh) and Sabah (33 sen per kWh) and among the lowest in South-East Asia.
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