Wednesday, June 4, 2008


33pc of people in Sabah have no power supply


About 33 percent of the people in Sabah have yet to enjoy electricity supply, according to Energy, Water and Communication Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor. Shaziman told the Parliament on Monday that based on the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) statistics, 67 percent of Sabah population are now enjoying electricity supply. He was replying to Senator Maijol Mahap who wanted to know the percentage of Sabah’s population who are still deprived of electricity supply. To Maijol’s earlier question on the Ministry’s short-term and long- term action plans to meet the electricity supply needs in Sabah, Shaziman said several steps have been taken by the Federal Government to address the issue. He said Sabah’s electricity generation capacity in 2007 was 744 MW compared to the maximum demand of 607 MW, which indicates a comfortable saving of 22.57 percent of the electricity produced. However, in reality, the electricity saving in Sabah is actually very low because most of it is generated by diesel-powered generators which are old and no longer reliable. After taking into consideration the actual electricity generation ability of these old generators, Sabah has only a 9.4 percent saving when it should be at least 25 percent to ensure a steady supply,” he pointed out. The Federal Government, in realising this problem has taken several short-term measures to meet the electricity needs in Sabah, among which are leasing generators from the private sector such as the 40 MW capacity unit from Sutera Harbour and acquiring supply from the Petronas Methanol in Labuan, he said. The Government, he added, is also carrying out scheduled monitoring of the main and small generators throughout the State and has purchased 1 MW generators as standby to reduce electricity disruption whenever any of the substations undergoes maintenance or repairs. For the long-term plans, the Government will be focusing on building new generators to replace the old diesel-powered ones, he said. The Federal Government, he added, has also approved two gas- powered generators and a coal-fired plant to be built in Sabah. “Completion of these plans is expected to take five years following which Sabahans can expect to enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply,” he said.