By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Dec 21: Power supply to the rural areas of Sarawak is expected to be fully connected by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) in the next three years.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is confident that electricity in the rural areas including rural schools will be connected by the utility provider by 2023.
“I have given a special (state) budget (2021) for us to electrify our rural areas.
“The budget that I gave was about RM2.3 billion and it is from our own source where we want to provide electricity to people in rural areas so that they are able to enjoy the electricity supply in the rumah panjang and the kampong as well as in our rural schools.
“The last trip that I went was to Long Pilah with the chairman (Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi) and I could see the faces of the people in the longhouses where we went there to officiate the supply of energy in that area.
“The schools are bright and students are able to study and they are not in the dark.
“With the supply of electricity to that area, I understand that by 2023, SEB can cover 100 per cent of the energy supply to rural areas,” he said during the launching of SEB inaugural vendor awards 2020 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
Abang Johari noted SEB offered good and attractive tariffs for investors and corporations to invest in Sarawak.
Hence, he asserted that there were large inflows of foreign direct investments into Sarawak in the past 10 years.
Abang Johari said SEB has also supplied 300 megawatts (MW) of power to West Kalimantan since 2016.
With the relocation of the Indonesia’s capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan in the future, the chief minister believed that there could be more demand for electricity on Borneo island.
Thus, he said the Sarawak government will collaborate with the Indonesian government to meet the increasing need of power in the future.
On SEB’s inaugural vendor award, Abang Johari said it was timely to nurture local and international contractors including Bumiputera contractors to provide quality services.
Among those present at SEB’s inaugural vendor awards 2020 ceremony were SEB chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, SEB board member Datuk Idris Buang, SEB group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili and Sesco chief executive officer Lau Kim Swee. — DayakDaily