KUCHING: KKB Engineering Bhd will bid for several projects under Sarawak’s ambitious billion-ringgit state water grid development programme as it kicks off.
The Sarawak government has identified a total of 247 water and water-related projects for implementation in the next two years, according to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He has announced an additional state allocation of RM800mil, bringing to a total of RM2.8bil, to fund these projects.
The projects will include water treatment plants, distribution networks system, pipe replacement, upgrading works, non-revenue water management, modernisation and Sarawak alternative rural water supply.
“I hope the projects can be implemented within the next two years and after that, we want to extend to build the state waster grid which will be the second phase of the Sarawak water supply grid programme,” he said when opening the Fourth Borneo Water and Wastewater conference and exhibition last Wednesday.
Last month, Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department started to invite bidders for some of these projects via an open tender system.
“We are bidding for some of these projects,” KKB group executive director Kho Pok Tong told StarBiz.
Besides eyeing for a slice of the construction job, Kho said KKB was looking at supplying steel water pipes and structural steel for the projects.
He said as Sarawak’s sole steel water pipe manufacturer, KKB expected to also supply water pipes to other contractors involved in the projects, from the second half of 2019 to 2020, adding: “We have recurring orders for steel water pipes.”
KKB group owns two steel water pipe manufacturing plants here, with a combined installed capacity of 30,000 tonnes per annum. In Sabah, the group owns a third plant with annual installed capacity of 15,000 tonnes.
Besides the steel water pipes which are mainly used for main distribution networks,high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes are also utilised for the water distribution system in the rural areas.
Johari said priority would be given to Sarawak companies to supply quality water pipes to the projects.He advised contractors given the job not to sub-contract to others,and to ensure timely completion of their projects.
The planned water grid project is to supply clean water from hydroelectric dam reservoirs to the many longhouses and settlements scattered in rural Sarawak and to irrigate agricultural projects.
According to Sarawak Utilities Minister Datuk Sri Dr Stephen Rundi,there are still some 70,000 households in the rural areas which had yet to enjoy clean water supply.
Rundi acknowleged it was a tall order to complete the 247 projects by 2020 in view of the vast state and terrians that posed various challenges in project implementation.
On wastewater management system,he said the ministry had develop the masterplans for Kuching,Sibu,Miri and Bintulu,and that similar masterplans for smaller towns,like Kota Samarahan,Sarikei and Mukah, are being finalised.
The masterplans serves as guidelines to systematically develop the wastewater management system.
He said the state authorities had provided septic sludge treatment facilities as an interim measure for Kuching,Sibu and Miri to treat the sludge collected from septic tanks and package plants.