Full Bakun Dam handover expected in 3 months

Bakun Dam - file pic

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KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is expecting the Bakun HEP Dam to be handed over to the state government fully within three months.

He said currently, the due diligence process is ongoing and he predicted it would take about three months before the dam would be completely handed over to the state.

“It is just the question of management handing over, (which could take) maybe three months,” said Abang Johari at a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

He said there would be an official ceremony to mark the event where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be invited to attend.

The chief minister said there was no plan to lay any undersea cable to sell electricity to Peninsular Malaysia as he hoped the electricity produced by the Bakun Dam may be consumed locally.

“There is no plan to lay an undersea cable to sell (electricity) to Semenanjung Malaysia because we need the energy for our own (consumption).

“Perhaps what we do is sell it to our neighbour. Now we are selling to Kalimantan Barat, to Pontianak but we are not going to build an undersea cable to Semananjung Malaysia.”

He said the main reason was that an undersea cable was costly to lay and there were high chances of leakage.

The federal government sold the 2,400 MW HEP dam “lock, stock and barrel” for RM2.5 billion to the state government.

The state government would also take over the RM6 billion loan which will be serviced by Sarawak Energy Berhad.

When announcing the news, Abang Johari said the acquisition would spur Sarawak to become a powerhouse which would enable the state to lower its tariffs and at the same time, sell the energy produced to neighbouring countries.