Deal to rent power plant ships off, says Sabah govt

Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan

KOTA KINABALU: Plans to rent two power ships as a fast-track effort to meet electricity demands in Sabah are scrapped, says the Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister

Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan said this was after the negotiations over the deal for the power ships, essentially floating power plants, fell through.

He said the project was approved earlier by the Sabah Planning and Implementation of Electricity Supply and Tariff Committee on June 12.

The deal was supposed to supply some 224MW of electricity generated by the power ships during the rental period from 2023 to 2028.

“However, the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Turkish-based Karpowership Global DMCC could not agree over the terms,” Nizam said during question time at the Sabah state assembly on Thursday (Nov 30).

“The SESB board of directors then decided to end the negotiations on Sept 15 and informed the Energy Commission of Sabah (Ecos) and Karpowership Global in writing.

“A subsequent meeting between the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs), Ecos, SESB and the Energy Commission decided to cancel the project on Sept 20.

“The meeting also supported the SESB and Ecos in devising alternative plans,” he added.

These alternative plans, Nizam said, involved extending the interim rental period for the 100MW diesel generator sets from six months to 2025 to supply power to the state.

He said the project to install the battery energy storage system (BESS), which can produce 100MW of power, will be implemented earlier next year instead of in 2026.

“Ecos will refine and coordinate the changes in the Power Development Plan (PDP) next year after the state takes over the full regulatory control of its electricity supply,” he said.

He said the medium-term plan (2026 to 2030) involved, among others, increasing power generation capacity to 400MW through hydro resources and a large-scale solar power project that could supply 100MW of electricity.

He added that The long-term plan will constitute ramping up the potential of hydropower besides exploring resources such as geothermal, wind and hydrogen.

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