KUCHING: The state’s largest coal-fired power plant valued at RM1.5bil will also be the first in Malaysia to incorporate latest clean coal technologies.
The 2 X 300MW Balingian power plant will be the first in the country with a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler.
In comparison with the conventional pulverised coal method, CFB boilers have the ability maximise coal utilisation.
The plant will be built by Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd (SEC) with construction commencing immediately.
The scheduled completion is for the first quarter of 2018, with the fire power expected to be generated by the end of 2017.
Located near Mukah (where there is another coal-fired power plant), the whole project consist of nine work packages, from earthworks to upgrading of access roads.
Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), the state owned power company, said about 45% of the works would be undertaken by local contractors. Earthworks and the upgrading of access roads have already begun in May this year.
At a total of 600MW, the completed plant would be the largest of its kind here and one of the largest in Malaysia. (Tenaga Nasional Bhd is currently building two 1,000MW coal-fired power plants in Manjung, Perak.)
Second Planning and Resource Management Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also Public Utilities Minister, said Sarawak’s energy requirements were outpacing national averages. This was largely due to the industralisation masterplan, Sarawak Corridor of Renewal Energy (Score).
Tengah said the demand for energy regionally was growing at about 4% annually, but that in Sarawak, the rapid growth of demand will reach 5,000MW by 2020, from 1,250MW just a few years earlier. The minister said power generation in 2020 was expected to comprise 60% hydro, 20% coal and 20% gas.
“Coal-fired plants can be completed within 36 months to meet investors’ immediate power demand, as the planned hydroelectric power plants such as the 1,000MW Baram and 1,000MW Baleh hydro plants will take between six to seven years to complete,” Tengah said during a signing ceremony here between SEB and SEC.
“Contrary to popular belief, coal-fired plants are not polluting if the necessary mitigation measures are taken.
“I like to commend SEB for adopting the CFB technology, the first in Malaysia, which, besides higher efficiency to maximise output, is also more environment-friendly. The sulphur content of Balingian coal is already lower compared to international coal reference, so the use of this technology will further reduce sulphur emissions to far below requirements.”
Signing for SEB were chief executive Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit and senior vice president of thermal department James Ung, while signing for SEC were chairman Huang Dinan and general manager Yi Xiao Rong.
Shanghai Electric Power Generation (M) Sdn Bhd (SEPG), a wholly-owned Malaysian subsidiary of SEC, was represented by its director Wen Weihua and Shanghai Electric Generation Group EPC vice chief engineer Qiu Minghua.