70,882 New Rural Households In Sarawak Get Power Supply

There are still about 40,000 households in Sarawak to be connected with electricity  supply through various electrification programmes.
There are still about 40,000 households in Sarawak to be connected with electricity supply through various electrification programmes.

KUCHING – A total of 70,882 new rural households in Sarawak have been connected through grid expansion or community based generation project under the Rural Electrification Scheme (RES) since 2009.

Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjoveit said there are still about 40,000 households to be connected with the supply through various electrification programmes while 18,000 households are still under study to find optimal solution.

Torstein Sjoveit quits Sarawak Energy at the end of October.
Torstein Sjoveit quits Sarawak Energy at the end of October.

Torstein said the state energy capacity has increased from 1182 megawatts in 2010 to 4,640MW in 2016 with 3,000 MW committed to its customers in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Besides SCORE, he said SEB was also exporting its power to West Kalimantan, Indonesia through the 120-km 275kV Mambong to West Kalimantan interconnection transmission line.

“SEB current investment is to increase energy capacity to 5,500 MW, projecting to rise further to about 8,000MW by 2025,” Torstein said at the meet-the-media session, his last session before his resignation as SEB CEO at the end of this month.

He said the company also enhanced its system reliability through increased investment, with transmission line length being increased from 974km to 2,324km.

“A new RM2.7 billion 500KV backbone transmission grid is being constructed to improve supply reliability, reinforce and strengthen the distribution system,” he said.

Annually RM300 million was spent to build new lines and distribution substations as well as upgrading existing infrastructure to cope with increased loads.

On customer focus, Torstein said electricity tariffs had been reduced for industrial, commercial and residential customers, making Sarawak electricity tariffs the lowest in Malaysia and one of the lowest in the region.

To another question, Torstein said it was not profitable to build many mini dams to produce hydroelectricity as it would burden consumers with high electricity tariff.