Monday, August 19, 2013

180 MW hydropower plan to improve electricity in Sabah

The proposed 180 MW Ulu Padas Hydroelectric Project is scheduled for construction in 2014 and is targeted for completion in 2019. We've been slow at implementing similar initiative, but at least this should be a sign that things are finally moving.

This project is unique in that it only use small area of water catchment per megawatt of electricity generated. Meaning, much lesser environmental impact.

Daily Express, Sunday - August 18, 2013

The hydroelectric proposal in brief

Installed capacity : 180 MW
Location  : Kuala Tomani, Tenom
Cost : RM2.3 billion (approx US$702 million)
Catchment area : 590 hectares, or 3.3 ha/MW
Scheduled commencement : 2014
Scheduled completion : 2019
Employment created : 1,000 during construction

The project is also expected to tackle the perennial flooding issues in Beaufort and Tenom areas.

RM2.3 billion hydroelectric project in Tenom

Construction of the Upper Padas Hydroelectric Project (UPHEP) with a capacity of 180 megawatt (MW) at the Padas basin, upstream of Kuala Tomani in Tenom, would proceed next year and is targeted for completion in 2019.

The project had been approved with a government soft loan of RM569 million for SESB’s equity injection into a special purpose company to be set up to undertake the project.

The paper reported that UPHEP requires a water catchment area (** TheGreenMechanics' note: I believe this refers to 'flooded area' or surface area rather than catchment area) of only 590 hectares, or 3.3 hectares per MW, unlike the Bakun hydroelectric project which requires up to 29 hectares of land per megawatt of power generated and the Murum hydro’s 26 hectares per MW.

Murum hydroelectric has an installed capacity of 944 MW, while Bakun is 2,400 MW. Both are located in Sarawak.

“This project can qualify for the Clean Development Mechanism status under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”- Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister, Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili

The government expect to save about RM4 billion in 40 years of the project operation as the infrastructure would be undertaken by the SESB and a consortium to be set up by the federal government. Subsequently, SESB's dependency on government subsidy can be reduced, while costs and losses from possible flooding are expected to be significantly reduced.

Assurance of proper EIA study

The Minister assured the people that the state government will ensure the preservation of the ecosystem at the project site while SESB is currently conducting a detailed engineering study and relevant activities associated with the special Environment Impact Assessment study.

Let's hope this will improve electricity supply in Sabah. If proper environment assessment is done, and the welfare of those affected are fairly taken cared of, the people should give-and-take and allow this development to be carried out.

Source: Front page, Daily Express, Sunday August 18, 2013

1 comment:

thomas said...

Finally a proper hydro power station.