BAKUN: The 210-metre high Bakun hydroelectric dam in central Sarawak is now fully controlled by the state government.
In a handover ceremony on Thursday (April 5), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he is returning the Bakun Dam to the Sarawak government.
The dam that was built in 1996 and cost about RM9bil was managed by
Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd which was under the Finance Ministry.
With the handing over, Sarawak energy provider - Sarawak Energy Bhd - takes full control.
Taking a dig at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib said that the Bakum Dam was developed during the former premier's tenure.
"Tun Mahathir built Bakun Dam and it was controlled by the Federal Government.
"So at that time, even though Bakun is located in Sarawak, its electricity generated was controlled by the Federal Government in the peninsula.
"Now I hand over Bakun to you since it belongs to Sarawak. Sarawak has total control over electricity generation and supplies.
"Sarawak has also the cheapest electricity tariff in Malaysia," he acknowledged at the ceremony that was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg, Bakun community chiefs and villagers.
Under the handover deal, Sarawak pays Putrajaya RM2.5bil. The state government will take over the RM6.4bil of the remaining debts.
According to Najib, Bakun Dam is the biggest dam in South-East Asia, capable of generating 2,400MWs.
He said with the full control of Bakun Dam, Sarawak will attract mega investors in heavy industries since the state also produces cheap green energy.