Sabah to increase hydropower plants over next decade

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah can expect an increase in hydropower plants over the next 10 years, says Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd acting managing director Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid.

He said they were still conducting several hydrological studies to enhance and develop future potential hydro power in the state.

"Based on the study and aligning with generation planning requirements, we have identified hydropower sites in Sabah with potential of 200MW to be developed in the next 10 years," he added.

Prior to this, SESB had developed hydro plant projects such as Tenom Pangi through the Run off River scheme and some small scale mini hydropower plants with total capacity of 76MW, he said.

Abdul Nasser said this at the "Towards Generation Optimisation, Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Hydropower Development in Sabah" seminar here recently.

He said despite the huge potential, the scale of hydropower development in Sabah stood at only 6% compared to 69% in Sarawak.

"These strategic development of ongoing and future transmission networks requires funding support from the Federal Government, particularly in the long-waited 275kV Southern-Link which links Sipitang to Kalumpang in East Coast of Sabah," Abd Nasser said.

He added that this will provide the much needed gateway necessary to facilitate the development of hydro potential in Sabah.

"We are aware of public concerns on safety and social impact of hydropower schemes and are committed to ensure all due diligence are done before projects are started, including environmental impact studies and engaging the right consultants during the design phase," he said.

Abd Nasser said SESB is keen to utilise latest affordable technologies to overcome engineering challenges, and are also committed to ensure that their hydrological data are accurate.

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