KUCHING, Nov 15: Sarawak is expected to achieve 100 per cent electricity supply coverage in rural areas by 2025 through the various integrated strategies undertaken by the state government, said Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
He took recognition of the fact that almost half of the population are living in rural areas, dispersed sparsely across geographically challenging terrain especially in the interior.
At present, the state’s rural electrification coverage is around 87 per cent.
In his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting today, Rundi said a Cabinet Committee on Rural Transformation has been tasked to oversee the Key Result Area (KRA) of providing electricity supply to rural households in the state.
He added that there was a need for an estimated RM6.7 billion in additional funds from the federal government for the state to achieve full rural electrification.
“The state government is committed to provide everyone with 24-hour electricity under its Rural Transformation Programme (RTP); hence the strategies for full electrification include the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) by extending 33/11kV distribution lines from the existing grid; Rural Power Supply Scheme (RPSS) for new 275/132KV transmission lines and substations which integrate with 33kV zone substations at strategic locations for rural grid extensions under RES; and renewable alternative stand-alone systems such as solar or mini hydro under the Alternative Hybrid Rural Electrification Project (Hybrid) and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (Sares) initiatives for remote rural areas which are not grid-connectable in the immediate future,” he said.
He added that his ministry would incorporate the use of digital technology in the electricity sectors in tandem with technological advancement.
“At the same time, electricity grids throughout the state will be extended to ensure a more reliable service delivery of these two important amenities.”
Rundi said through the federally funded RES, about 110,000 new rural households had been connected to 24-hour electricity supply since 2009. — DayakDaily