Hornbill Unleashed

May 23, 2017

Bakun dam now officially belongs to Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for The Bakun hydroelectric powerThe Bakun hydroelectric power (HEP) dam is now officially owned by the state government after the first instalment was paid recently, revealed Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He added that the official ceremony to hand over the biggest dam in South East Asia will be done after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“The ownership (of Bakun HEP Dam) has been finalised after we paid the first instalment recently,” Abang Johari told the media after his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly here yesterday.

He added that the total cost of acquiring the mammoth project was RM2.5 billion in cash and RM5.6 billion in net debt outstanding as at the end of December 2016.

“The federal Ministry of Finance continues to provide Government Guarantee and Letter of  Undertaking to the loans. The RM2.5 billion cash buys the entire equity of the Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, as well as the Special Rights Redeemable Share.

“The RM2.5 billion in cash will be paid for by SEB’s (Sarawak Energy Berhad) internally-generated funds and loan facilities. The net debt of RM5.6 billion will be repaid purely by the cash flows generated by the Bakun dam facilities over the remaining duration of the loan of 15 years as against the asset life span of the dam which will last even more than the 60-year generation licence period given by the government,” explained Abang Johari.

The Chief Minister said the acquisition of the Bakun Dam was indeed commercially viable.

“Once the debts are paid, the Bakun Dam will become another source of income for the Sarawak government. Furthermore, by retaining the state’s control over the Bakun facilities which include the hydro lake, the whole Bakun area can be opened up for development–which many of us have hoped for–for broader social-economic benefit including tourism, recreation, aquaculture, community development as well as conservation,” he said.

Abang Johari who is also Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, reiterated that by owning the Bakun Dam, Sarawak would now truly own the largest power generator in the country.

“This allows Sarawak to ensure that our power supply is reliable, as we can integrate the Bakun Dam with the Murum Dam and bring about a better management of our power generating capability,” he said.

The Chief Minister pointed out that the management of its hydropower capability allowed the state government to have the ability to attract global digital companies to come to Sarawak and set up their server farms which form the underlying infrastructure for cloud-computing.

“This is why I am in charge of energy as well as the digital economy, so that I can ensure that the critical components of our economy are integrated with each other in order to generate greater economic value for Sarawakians.

“In summary, the buying back of Bakun Dam is very good news and a logical acquisition by the state government,” he said.

Currently, the three HEP dams in Sarawak–Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun–generate more than 3,000 MW of energy. And with the completion of Baleh HEP dam in 2025, Sarawak will be able to generate more than 4,000 MW for the power-intensive industries based in Samalaju Industrial Park.


Source : The Borneo Post Online


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