KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Sabah needs to develop additional energy sources to meet industry needs, which require a dependable and high supply of electricity, said Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister, Liew Chin Tong.
He said that currently, 89 per cent of Sabah’s power generation is based on natural gas, noting that the state’s energy reserve margin is currently only at 11 per cent, way below the ideal reserve margin of 30 per cent.
Liew said the power shortage issue in Sabah is actually an opportunity to strengthen and expand energy sector investments in the state.
“Since coal-based power plants are currently not an option to meet Sabah’s power needs, new power sources or technology, including green power, must be explored and considered to be the top choices as a long-term solution.
“Renewable energy (RE) sources that are being explored include hydroelectric, wind, solar and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion,” he said when winding up the Dewan Negara special meeting to debate on the motion of the 12th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review today.
Liew said that based on current plans outlined in the Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan 2040 launched on Sept 19, RE generation in Sabah’s power grid is expected to increase to 1,000 megawatts (MW), or 50 per cent of total generation capacity, by 2030.
“This would be a good thing to accomplish, given that the dependency on fossil energy sources is currently at 90 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liew said Sabah has great potential in the development of the downstream palm oil, biomass and biogas industries, considering that Sabah is the largest palm oil-producing territory in Malaysia.
“The state has numerous advantages, especially in terms of manpower, location and factory costs.
“With the addition of the new power generation, Sabah can become a new investment destination in the country, and this will change the economic landscape, thus ensuring the well-being of Sabahans,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) will continue to attract investments to the country, including to Sabah, based on the respective strength and suitability of each locality.