Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud second from right accepting souvenir from Mahmud at the official launching of Sarawak Cable Berhad factory in Kuching on Friday Dec 11, 2009. (Photo: Eastern Times)

Sarawak Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud second from right accepting souvenir from Mahmud at the official launching of Sarawak Cable Berhad factory in Kuching on Friday Dec 11, 2009. (Photo: Eastern Times)

Tan Sri Taib Mahmud said the prime minister in principle had given his permission for Bakun’s electricity to be supplied exclusively to Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) region to help kick start its heavy industries according to media reports.

Following the agreement the state government was reported to be packaging a deal to lease the electricity from federal government.

“We are now packaging a deal to lease Bakun from the federal government,” Taib said at the opening of Sarawak Cable Berhad factory in Kuching on Friday.

Bakun dam slated to be fully commissioned in 2011, capable of generating 1,776 MW of electricity is crucial for state government sponsored – aluminium smelting plant at Samalaju Industrial Park in Simalajau, Bintulu.

The state government’s announcement to divert Bakun power to SCORE region would likely halted plan for a submarine power cable project to peninsular in 2015.

But the diversion of Bakun power unlikely to affect the state capabilities of exporting its hydro power to peninsular. Earlier this year, Sarawak government announcement planned to develop at least 12 hydro-electric dams in various part of the state – a plan drawing widespread criticism from local politicians and environmental groups.

“We are doing feasibility studies for dams in Baram and Ulu Baleh,” Taib said. Sarawak according the powerful Chief Minister has potential to produce up to 28,000MW of hydro-electric power once all its 12 dams fully operational.

Immediately after the completion of civil works in Bakun dams area last year, the state government had accepted an offer from China Three Gorges Project Corporation (CTGPC) and it local partners to build Murum dam.

“Once completed in 2013, the 600MW Murum hydro-electric dam would enable the state to export the power to peninsular,” said Awang Tengah Ali Hassan on Nov 7, 2009.