BINTULU: The 275kV Murum Junction Substation was declared open by Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom today.
According to a press release from Sarawak Energy, the transmission substation, built at a cost of RM100 million, integrates bulk power generated from the 2,400MW Bakun and 944MW Murum Hydroelectric Plants. From the substation, power is supplied to villages through rural substations as well as into the state grid via the Similajau transmission substation, strengthening overall system reliability for the state.
Also present was Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister for Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Ministry of Utilities permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan, Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili, Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong, Member of Parliament for and Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon.
In his speech, Dr Rundi said the Murum Junction Substation was an example of how the State’s development strategy, Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), can also benefit the rural populace by speeding up infrastructure development in rural areas.
“This 275kV Murum Junction Substation is a game changer for rural development in Sarawak. It is an example of the benefits of the long-term SCORE strategy of the state government – how the development of hydropower can help to speed up infrastructure development in our rural areas.
“With the extra high voltage Murum substation located in the rural area, we are able to grid-connect rural towns, villages and longhouses in the vicinity. The Bakun Resettlement Scheme at Sungei Asap and Sungei Koyan already enjoy greater reliability of supply as supply does not depend on the former diesel-powered power station at Sungei Asap,” he said.
Belaga town and longhouses along the way will be connected to this substation, and eventually the Belaga diesel power plant will also be decommissioned. This line will subsequently be extended to Punan Bah and will supply longhouses along the way.
In addition, the Murum Junction Substation will be utilising covered-conductors to connect to Belaga town by the end of next year, as part of the state’s effort to constantly explore ways to improve on the performance of the distribution system in the rural areas. The installation of these insulated lines will be undertaken and fully financed by Sarawak Energy at a cost of around RM40 million.
Located 160km away from Bintulu in the Belaga District, the facility won the Best Project for Medium (Infrastructure) category at the Malaysian Construction Industry Excellence Awards in 2016.
Meanwhile, Sharbini said the award for the substation demonstrated Sarawak Energy’s commitment to achieving a high standard and quality in project delivery while fulfilling the state’s development agenda to modernise Sarawak’s power system including for rural areas.
“We are committed to our role in supporting the state government’s ongoing efforts to develop basic infrastructure. This substation is critical in Sarawak Energy’s effort to expand the distribution grid in the Upper Rajang area.
“I am also proud of this award as it demonstrates Sarawak Energy’s focus on quality and commitment towards project delivery excellence, which is one of our five corporate key focus areas.”
The substation which was completed ahead of schedule was first commissioned in Sept 2014. Other than transmitting reliable and renewable power from Murum and Bakun, it has also enhanced reliability of supply to the community at Bakun Resettlement and surrounding areas.