MURUM: The official opening of the Murum Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) in Belaga District, Kapit Division yesterday is a significant milestone for Sarawak.
The plant provides up to 944MW of sustainable, renewable and affordable energy for the state and additional power for the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).
The RM4.1 billion plant, Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB)’s largest hydropower construction project, was officially declared open by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
The Head of State was joined by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, SEB chairman Datuk Amar Hamed Sepawi and its chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit.
State cabinet ministers, elected federal and state representatives, government officials, community leaders and residents of the Murum Resettlement Area and other invited guests were present to witness the function which was held at the plant site.
In his speech, Taib said the Murum HEP marked a new hydro exploration drive towards more industrialisation which would attract more energy intensive industries to the state.
“At the moment, our potential is only half-exploited to attract more, especially power intensive industries.
“There is limitation to develop Sarawak unless we get more industries as we have limited size of population and limited resources,” he said.
In this regard, he called for greater cooperation in exploring new areas and harnessing human resources to develop more energy-based industries, which he described as the future of Sarawak’s economic growth.
“The Murum Dam has been the peak of our efforts. We can rely on our experience with the Murum to teach and help the people if there is the necessity for us to develop more hydro dams in future,” he added.
He thanked those affected by such projects for giving their cooperation for the overall and greater good of the state.
By doing so, he said they had given many job opportunities for more qualified Sarawakians.
Meanwhile, Adenan said hydropower is clean, cheap and safe; thus would be attractive to investors, which augurs well for greater growth of energy intensive industries in the state.
“From all the sources of energy we find that hydropower is the cleanest and the cheapest of energy,” he said, adding more than 50 per cent of power in the state is generated by hydropower.-BP