August 26, 2022 12:18 AM
Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor said the state government would take back SESB with zero liabilities once the SESB Transformation Plan is completed within five to seven years. (Bernama pic)
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor has set in motion plans for the state to regulate its own electricity and gas supply by setting up the Sabah Energy Commission (SEC) and take over Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).
The Sabah chief minister’s office said in a statement that Hajiji co-chaired a series of high-powered committee meetings with energy and natural resources (KeTSA) minister Takiyuddin Hassan in Putrajaya, and economic affairs minister Mustapa Mohamed in Kuala Lumpur.
“During the first meeting (with Takiyuddin) of the steering committee on the handing over of the electric supply regulatory power and SESB to the state government, it was agreed that KeTSA will present the state government’s plan to take over SESB in two stages to the federal Cabinet,” said the statement.
Hajiji, who is also Sabah finance minister, was quoted in the statement as saying that the state government would first need to set up its own SEC so that the electricity supply regulatory authority could be transferred from the federal government to the state.
Following this, he said the state government would take back SESB with zero liabilities once the SESB Transformation Plan is completed within five to seven years.
Meanwhile, the chief minister also discussed the proposed programmes and projects to be implemented in Sabah under the Sabah Power Supply Generation Development Plan 2022-2041.
He said the state government proposed that the 100 megawatt (MW) Combined Cycle Power Plant project, which has been tendered out, be built in Kimanis which has sufficient gas resources readily available.
The state government also supported the New Sabah Hydro application for the proposed development of the 170MW Hydroelectric Plant “Run of River” Concept at Sungai Maligan and Hulu Sungai Padas, Sipitang, which has been tabled and approved by the Sabah Cabinet.
Hajiji said the proposed 135MW New East Gas project should be discontinued if the tariff was not competitive and the Southern Link Distribution project must be implemented as one package and not in phases through direct funding under the 12th Malaysia Plan by 2027.
“The state government also proposed that the federal government discontinue the Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline because there is no gas supply and instead the contractor that has been paid for the project should do the Southern Link project,” he said.
Hajiji also wants the implementation of the upgrading projects of the power distribution grid from Segaliud, Sandakan, to Dam Road, Lahad Datu and Mengalong, Sipitang to Lawas, Sarawak, to be expedited.
The state government also requested that the price of gas at the existing independent power plants be maintained at the minimum of RM6.40 per metric million British thermal unit until the expiry of their concession to avoid a sharp increase in operating cost that would directly impact Sabah’s electricity tariff.
The state government’s move to take over the management and control of gas supply in Sabah was in line with the various related initiatives that have been planned and implemented in the state, Hajiji said.
“The state government is committed to ensuring that the gas industry in Sabah will continue to be developed through the related policies without compromising on the safety and service efficiency to consumers as well as ensuring no disruption in operations during the transition period,” he added.