PUTRAJAYA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji sets in motion the plan to set up the Sabah Energy Commission and take over Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).
The Chief Minister co-chaired a series of high-powered committee meeting with Energy and Natural Resources Minister (KeTSA) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed at Wisma Sumber Asli here and Kuala Lumpur today.
During the first meeting of the steering committee on the handing over of the electric supply regulatory power and SESB to the State Government, it was agreed upon that KeTSA will take up the Sabah State Government’s plan to take over SESB in two stages to the Federal Cabinet.
Hajiji said the State Government first need to set up its own Sabah Energy Commission so that the electricity supply regulatory authority can be transferred from the Federal Government to Sabah.
After that, Hajiji said the State Government expects to take back SESB with zero liabilities once the SESB Transformation Plan is completed within five to seven years from now.
“Hence, coordination and cooperation from all are needed to ensure the legal process is implemented smoothly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also discussed the proposed programmes and projects to be implemented in Sabah under the Sabah Power Supply Generation Development Plan (2022-2041).
He said the State Government proposed that the 100 Megawatt Combined Cycle Power Plant project, which has been tendered out, be built in Kimanis, which has sufficient gas resources readily available.
The State Government also supported the New Sabah Hydro application for the proposed development of the 170 Megawatt Hydroelectric Plant “Run of River” Concept at Sungai Maligan and Hulu Sungai Padas, Sipitang, which has been tabled and approved by the Sabah Cabinet.
Hajiji who is also State Finance Minister said the proposed 135 Megawatt New East Gas project should be discontinued if the tariff is not competitive and that the Southern Link Distribution project must be implemented as one package and not in phases through direct funding under the 12th Malaysia Plan by 2027.
“The State Government also proposed that the Federal Government discontinue the Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) because of no gas supply and instead the contractor that has been paid for the project to do the Southern Link project,” he said.
Hajiji also wants the implementation of the upgrading projects of the power distribution grid from Segaliud (Sandakan) to Dam Road (Lahad Datu) and Mengalong (Sipitang) to Lawas, Sarawak to be expedited.
The State Government also requested that the price of gas at the existing independent power plants (IPP) be maintained at the minimum of RM6.40 per Metric Million British Thermal Unit (MMBtu) until the expiry of their concession to avoid a sharp increase in operating cost that will directly impact Sabah’s electricity tariff, he said.
The Energy Commission is also urged to expedite the electricity supply project license approval for the Kibing Glass Factory in the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP).
Later, Hajiji also co-chaired the steering committee meeting on the handing over of the management and control of its gas resources with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed at Grand Millenium in Kuala Lumpur.
He said the State Government’s move to take over the management and control of the gas supply in Sabah was in line with the various related initiatives that have been planned and implemented in the state.
“It will allow us to have direct involvement in oil and gas industry activities for the benefit of Sabah and the people,” he said.
“The Sabah State Government is committed to ensuring the gas industry in Sabah will continue to be developed through the related policies without compromising on the safety and service efficiency to consumers as well as ensuring no disruption in operations during the transition period,” he said.
Accompanying the Chief Minister were State Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Hj Safar Untong, CEO of Unit Tenaga Sabah, Datuk Ir. Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid, State Attorney General Datuk Nor Asiah binti Mohd Yusof, Director General of the State Public Service, Datuk (Datu) Rosmadi Datu Sulai and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mohd Sofian Alfian Nair.