Malaysia’s Tenaga plans subsea cable for 2,400-MW Bakun

Malaysia’s biggest power utility, Tenaga Nasional, says it is working with local builder Sime Darby on a project to deliver power from Borneo Island to peninsular Malaysia by submarine cable.

“We have already started talking to Sime and … we are doing some preliminary work on the project,” Tenaga Chief Executive Che Khalib Mohamad Noh told reporters.

The cables would take power from 2,400-MW Bakun Dam, nearing completion in the eastern state of Sarawak on Borneo, and plug it into the power grid on the peninsula, home to the vast majority of Malaysians. (HNN 2/5/07) Local newspapers have said the project might cost more than US$4 billion.

“We are discussing where (the cables) will take off, where they will land, which route they will take and how we will optimize it,” Che Khalib said.

State-controlled Tenaga, which struggled when fuel prices rose to record highs, has begun to see its restructuring efforts bear fruit. A government decision last year to allow a first tariff increase in almost a decade and a program to sell non-core assets led it to announce in January that it will adopt a dividend policy for the first time, a move aimed at attracting more foreign investment.

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