An arial view of Bakun upper dam area that will soon be submerged underwater.

An arial view of Bakun upper dam area that will soon be submerged underwater.

The channeling of electricity from the Bakun hydroelectric project in Sarawak to Peninsular Malaysia via submarine cable is important to ensure continuous and sufficient electricity supply at a reasonable price to consumers in the peninsula.

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said it was also to reduce dependency on fossil fuel that is used to meet more the 90 per cent of the electricity demand in Peninsular Malaysia now.

“The high dependency on fossil fuel exposes the peninsula to supply and fuel cost risks.

“Besides that, analysis shows that the cost to get electricity supply from Bakun in the long term is cheaper than the cost of getting supply from the gas- and coal-generating plants,” Chin said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Chin was replying to a question by Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera) who wanted to know the need for the project and the government’s efforts to enhance efficient electricity usage.

He said the almost RM10 billion project was expected to be ready in 2012 and would be able to channel 1,700 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Peninsular Malaysia.

Chin said the electricity supply reserve margin in Peninsular Malaysia now was around 50 per cent, in Sarawak 30 per cent and Sabah (seven per cent).

“Various energy efficiency programmes have and are being done that target various categories of electricity consumers including energy-intensive industries and domestic consumers.

“Among efforts that are being done are having an awareness campaign, the Energy Month, to increase awareness and encourage practice of efficient energy use,” he said.

Besides that, Chin said the government had offered several incentives like sales tax and import duty exemption for energy efficient equipment as well as investment tax allowance for companies that make efforts for efficient energy use. — Bernama