SEB adds solar power

The state-owned utility body expects this to be achieved by 2030, according to its group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sharbini Suhaili.(pic)

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) aims to incorporate 300 megawatt (MW) of large-scale solar power in its electricity generation mix.

The state-owned utility body expects this to be achieved by 2030, according to its group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sharbini Suhaili.

SEB has planned for its first large-scale solar project – a 50MW floating solar system – at its Batang Air hydro-electric dam in Sri Aman Division. The 108MW dam built in 1985 has a 90-sq-km reservoir.

To study the limits for variable renewable energy (RE) penetration in Sarawak, SEB signed a grant agreement with Swedfund International AB recently. Under the agreement, Swedfund will finance SEB’s study to determine the acceptable limits of variable solar into the future Sarawak grid system without affecting the state’s energy stability and reliability.

Sharbini said the findings of the study could help SEB to better plan the integration of solar into Sarawak’s future grid system.

He said SEB will continue to maintain a predominance of renewable hydro power in its generation mix. SEB group, which is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of energy in Sarawak, currently also owns the Bakun hydro dam (2,400MW) and Murun hydro dam (944MW).

Its third hydro project – the 1,285MW Baleh dam – is currently under construction for scheduled completion in 2026.

SEB currently has an installed capacity of about 5,307MW. The RE is complemented by thermal (gas and coal) energy.

Early this month, SEB teamed up with three financial institutions to provide financing solutions for local contractors under the energy development and power utility’s vendor financing programme.

The three institutions were RHB Islamic Bank Bhd, Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia (SME Bank) and Ikhtiar Factoring Sdn Bhd.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked virtually, the support of these financial institutions will improve the contractors’ working capital and cashflow for more to be eligible to participate in the procurement of SEB’s infrastructure development projects.

“This strategic collaboration, which is open to all of SEB’s eligible vendors, is a focused effort to help eligible vendors mitigate financial constraints when participating in SEB’s projects. They will have access to comprehensive and flexible financing facilities.

“This is in line with our efforts to support the Sarawak government’s goal of encouraging the growth and development of local vendors,” said Sharbini.

RHB Islamic Bank managing director Datuk Adissadikin Ali said many SMEs continue to require assistance to manage and sustain business operations during these challenging times. “As such, we continue to proactively engage with our SME customers and this allows us to better understand and anticipate their needs,” he added.

SME Bank group president and CEO Aris Putera Ismail said the MoU would enable the targetted SME contractors to resolve the issue of access to financing and liquidity.

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