‘Expedite projects in Sabah’

KOTA KINABALU: All water, electricity and road projects in Sabah must be expedited, especially the Pan Borneo Highway and the Ulu Padas Hydroelectric Dam, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Don’t give any excuses,” the Prime Minister said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the RM4bil Ulu Padas dam project at Kampung Kungkular in Kemabong, Tenom, yesterday.

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“Projects that are delayed will, among others, cause the cost to rise and affect the people’s hopes of getting basic amenities such as water and electricity.

“For example, this (hydroelectric) project, the state and federal agencies must monitor its implementation.

“The initial projection (of completion) must be changed because it is most critical for the people to be completed earlier,” said Anwar of the dam, which is about 200km from Sabah’s capital.

He added: “That is the attitude we must have now.”

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In his speech, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the Ulu Padas dam will generate 187.5MW of electricity and contribute some 15% to Sabah’s energy grid.

“This will be critical for the development of Sabah’s oil and gas sector and the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, thus driving economic growth in our state.

“The dam will potentially supply 6,000mil litres per day (JLH) of clean water.

“This project will have a positive spillover effect on the local economy in terms of job opportunities, increasing people’s income and entrepreneurship,” Hajiji said.

He added that the Sabah government was committed to strengthening the management of energy resources in the state with the launch of the Sabah Energy Master Plan and Direction 2040 (SE-RAMP 2040) in September.

The project developer’s, Upper Padas Power Sdn Bhd, is a public-private partnership between Sabah-owned Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd and private entities Gamuda Bhd and Kerjaya Kagum Hitech JV Sdn Bhd.

The proposed dam site is located in the south-western Sipitang district, about 8.5km downstream from the confluence of the Padas and Melingan rivers, while the proposed powerhouse is located in Tenom, about 10km downstream from the dam.

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