KUCHING, Sept 30 — Sarawak is looking at being the central provider of the ASEAN Power Grid as the regional powerhouse, says Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing.
Masing, who is also Development of Infrastructure and Ports Minister, said to be able to fit into the larger regional picture, Sarawak had to reinvent itself and be at the forefront of the energy sector.
“Sarawak’s resources and strategically advantageous geographical location should result in us playing a critical role within the region’s up and downstream supply chain.
“Because of the potential national and international advantages associated with being part of the ASEAN Power Grid, being a participating entity, Sarawak must pursue domestic energy efficiency through electricity infrastructure modernisation so as to reduce the required costs and impacts of being part of the ASEAN Power Grid infrastructure.”
He said this in his special address at the Sarawak International Business and Economic Summit, here, today, with his session moderated by Bernama chairman, Datuk Seri Azman Ujang.
Masing noted that the state had already been selling electricity to West Kalimantan since 2016, and currently driving the initiative of Trans-Borneo Grid with the intention of supplying electricity to Brunei and Sabah.
Later at a press conference, Masing expressed his confidence that the state had sufficient power to supply, with more than 50 per cent of it coming from hydro-electricity.
Apart from supply from the Bakun dam, he said another hydro-electric dam was under construction in Baleh and expected to be completed in five years.
“After completion, it will have 500 megawatts of electricity,” he added.