Tourism potential of Bakun HEP Lake will be unleashed

Masing (centre) receiving a memento from president of Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific Tan Sri Michael Yeo, after presenting his talk on “Energy and Industry-Driving Future Growth for Sarawak” on the sideline of the 2019 Sarawak Investment and Business Summit held at a leading hotel here today. On the right is Ismawi.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Sept 30: The Bakun hydroelectric power (HEP) Lake will be developed in stages based on priority needs of the tourism industry, said Regional Corridor of Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer Datu Ismawi Ismuni.

He said the Bakun HEP Lake which is as big as Singapore needs times to be developed to achieve its full potential.

“Currently, we are doing a masterplan which will take between six to eight months to complete. Then we will present it to State Government. And after that we hope it can be implemented.

“But we will do it in stages, because the size of Bakun, if I’m not mistaken, is as big as the size of Singapore. We will know our priority. That is the reason why we need the infrastructure connectivity,” Ismawi told a press conference on the sideline of the 2019 Sarawak Investment and Business Summit held at a leading hotel here today.

On the same subject, Deputy Chief Minister and chairman of Ulu Rajang Development Agency (URDA) Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing who was one of the speakers of the summit said that it would take time to develop Bakun HEP Lake into a matured tourism product.

“Like Lake Como, in Northern Italy which we visited recently, it took more than 100 years to develop into what it is today. So, I brought the boys there to see how we can develop our HEP lakes here,” added Masing.

Meanwhile, on the question posed by a participant whether Bakun was a failure, Masing who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development held that the tapping of Sarawak’s resources such as water energy was a game changer as it would attract foreign investors to Sarawak.

“If not for Bakun and other HEP Dams, we will not be able to attract investors to Sarawak especially to Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) area where the total investment has reached RM79.3 billion from both private and public sectors.

“The latest investment being a steel manufacturing plant with a capacity of 10 million tons per annum, which worth billions of Ringgit, which is owned by China Metallurgical Corporation, is expected to commence construction by middle of next year,” said Masing.

He also emphasized that for Sarawak to be further developed, it must focus on infrastructure especially on road connectivity.

“So, both connectivity and renewable energy (from HEPs) are vital to further develop Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily