Hornbill Unleashed

October 10, 2013

State asked to run cost-benefit analysis on dams


A view of the Murum Dam.

The state has been called on to run a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on the proposal to implement large dam projects.

This is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project to determine if it is a sound investment and to provide a basis for comparing projects.

“It involves comparing the total expected cost of each option against the total expected benefits, to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs, and by how much,” explained Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How in a press statement.

See, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state vice-chairman, pointed out that Sarawak already has three hydro-electric power (HEP) projects — Bakun, Murum and Batang Ai.

“To generate a maximum of 2,400MW (megawatt) electricity, Bakun flooded 695 square kilometres of land area, almost equivalent to the total original land area of Singapore — 581 square kilometres.

“Murum, when completed and estimated to generate up to 900MW electricity, will flood 245 square kilometres of land area. Batang Ai, generates 90MW electricity and it has a reservoir area of 85 square kilometres.”

See claimed that the sale of cheaper electricity to mostly foreign transnational conglomerates would only benefit them.

“However, the adverse environmental and health impacts of pollution are permanent and will haunt our future generations even after they have made their profits and gone.”

He called for a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis that is open for public scrutiny and feedback.

“I certainly hope that we can start with the examination of the huge dam projects in Sarawak.

“In our enthusiasm to generate wealth and employment, have we fallen victim to the norm of giving too much emphasis to material aspects of growth, and overlooking the long term costs and other viable and more sustainable development options which will bring more benefits to the state?”



  1. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? In my book, CBA should have been done before the EIA i.e. if the EIA has even been done at all.

    Comment by edward, m — October 11, 2013 @ 8:52 AM | Reply

  2. See Chee How and Baru Bian are just like those in the bible who chose the narrow path, they shall see heaven earlier.

    Comment by i knowit all — October 10, 2013 @ 3:20 PM | Reply

    • Huh?

      Comment by brian — October 10, 2013 @ 4:41 PM | Reply

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