Australia utility to help develop Malaysia hydropower

An Australian official says Tasmania State utility Hydro Tasmania is ready to help Malaysia’s Sarawak State develop its substantial hydroelectric resources.

Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, said Tasmania Minister for Energy and Resources David Llewellyn visited Sarawak, on Borneo Island, in February at the invitation of Ta Ann Group, a timber company with interests in palm oil plantations.

Sarawak Energy Berhad, which is building the 2,400-MW Bakun hydroelectric project in the state (HNN 7/2/08), is planning several other hydro projects including 1,000-MW Baram (HNN 9/4/07), 944-MW Murum (HNN 5/9/08), 300-MW Metjawah, and 150-MW Limbang. (HNN 2/12/08) Ta Ann Executive Chairman Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi also is chairman of Sarawak Energy Berhad.

Llewellyn said Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest hydropower generator, hopes to utilize its expertise to help Sarawak Energy Berhad develop those hydro projects.

�We have an arrangement with the Sarawak government in respect of consultation over the development of hydro resources, which are quite extensive,� the minister told a news conference at Sibu.

Llewellyn said Tasmania, also an island state, has experience in transmitting electricity by underwater cables to Australia’s mainland. Sarawak is planning a similar subsea cable to carry power from Bakun to mainland Malaysia, which Llewellyn said would be the longest submarine cable in the world.

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