The government of Malaysia plans to develop sufficient hydropower to meet 30 percent of the country’s electricity needs over the next decade, Energy Minister Lim Keng Yaik predicted.
Addressing the Fourth National Utilities Summit August 28, Lim said Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak states have the potential to deliver the needed hydropower, about 4,000 to 5,000 MW. Lim’s remarks were reported by national news agency Bernama.
�We are also studying the possibility of getting more hydropower from the Rajang River Basin, such as (900-MW) Murum and (1,000-MW) Baleh, for the longer term,� Lim said. �The role of hydropower will be more prominent post-2010.�
He said the 2,400-MW Bakun project, under construction in Sarawak on Borneo Island, still needs subsea cables to transmit its power upon its completion in 2011. He said the decision on the cables is still under consideration.
Malaysian builder Cahya Mata Sarawak was identified in August as 40 percent partner with global miner Rio Tinto Ltd/Plc in plans to develop a US$2 billion aluminum smelter in Sarawak State that would utilize power from Bakun. (HNN 8/8/07)
In August, utility Sarawak Energy Berhad and the builder of China’s 22,400-MW Three Gorges Dam, China Three Gorges Project Corp., agreed to study engineering design leading up to eventual development of the Murum project in Sarawak’s Upper Rajang Basin. (HNN 8/15/07) It was recently reported, in addition to Murum, Sarawak Energy plans to develop three other hydro projects in Sarawak: Baleh, also spelled Balleh; 150-MW Limbang; and 1,000-MW Baram.