Dr Rundi confident state will achieve full electrification before 2025

Dr Rundi (centre, white shirt) at the launching of the RES programme. Also seen is longhouse chief Stia Rimau (to his left).

KUCHING, July 19: Rh Stia in Niah, Miri, is the latest longhouse to be connected with 24-hour electrical supply, as the state intensifies efforts towards full electrification before 2025.

The Utilities Ministry, through Sarawak Energy, are intensifying efforts to ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply for 97 per cent of rural households in Sarawak by 2020.

Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said his ministry was working closely with Sarawak Energy to accelerate delivery of rural electrification projects to achieve this ambition.

“We have a strong strategy and an efficient delivery mechanism to ensure 97 per cent of rural households in Sarawak will have electricity at the end of 2020 from the current rural electrification rate of 92 per cent,” he said when launching the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) programme at Rh Stia in Suai, Niah.

Dr Rundi (fourth left) addressing the longhouse residents.

He added that rural electricity coverage increased to the current 92 per cent from 87 per cent in 2016.

Dr Rundi expressed confidence that full electricity coverage is expected to be achieved before 2025.

“Under the Sarawak Accelerated Rural Electrification Master Plan, we are intensifying efforts to provide electricity to longhouses and villages that are still without this basic need,” he said.

RES involves extending grid lines into the interior. Apart from RES, other strategies under the Sarawak Accelerated Rural Electrification Master Plan to provide reliable and affordable electricity to rural areas include Rural Power Supply Scheme (RPSS) and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES).

The RES programme at Rumah Stia was completed and energised in March last year, benefitting more than 100 residents of the 15-unit longhouse.

Previously, the longhouse residents were dependent on diesel-powered generator sets. — DayakDaily