RM8.1 billion to be paid over 15 years for Bakun dam

Cheap hydro-generated power could help the state in earning foreign exchange from Brunei. This damn will also stop SEB's financial losses incurred RM100 million annually, due to subsidising consumers in Limbang and Lawas in using diesel to generate power in the area. - file pic of RM100 million annually subsidising consumers in Limbang and Lawas in using diesel to generate electricity.

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KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg said the total amount of RM8.1 billion involved for acquiring Bakun Dam from the federal government by the state government will be paid over a 15-year period.

He said the amount consists of RM2.5 billion as cost and RM5.6 billion in debts owed by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

“We will settle all the amount in stages out of the profits earned from the dam operation,” he said in his Gawai Dayak message today.

He said the 2,400MW dam is now fully owned by the state government through the Sarawak Energy Berhad, the state-owned power provider and dam builder.

Apart from Bakun dam, SEB has already owned 944MW Murum and 100MW Batang Ai dams while physical construction work on the 1,300MW Baleh dam is scheduled to commence early next year and is expected to be completed by 2025.

Abang Johari said he would carry out all the initiatives to leapfrog Sarawak into digital economy that he had announced within his 100 days in office as chief minister.

“The announcement was not a rhetoric because I will ensure that these initiatives will be successfully implemented,” he said, adding that Sarawak will be left behind if it does not go into digital economy.

He said Sarawak cannot wait any longer, but to fast-track into digital era.

Abang Johari is confident that internet-based economy will give opportunity and wide space for Sarawak to step into a new era that has no political and physical border.

“Sarawak’s total population is small, but with Asia having a huge population of about three billion, it gives hope for Sarawak to develop its digital economy,” he said. – dayakdaily.com