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Sarawak Energy Bhd will be closing its Sejingkat coal-fired power station of 210MW capacity. It will also add more renewable energy capacities like solar and hydro to its generation mix.
Datuk Sharbini Suhaili, Chief Executive Officer of the group, stated that the Sejingkat power plant would be decommissioned in stages and will be completed by 2026.
He stated that the move was in keeping with the state utility’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, decarbonise and increase the generation of renewable energy.
The Sejingkat power plant was constructed in two phases, 1998 and 2004. It is the oldest of three coal-fired power stations owned by SEB.
The two other coal-fired power plants are located in Balingian and Mukah in central Sarawak. They have a combined capacity of 270 MW, and 624 MW, and were fully operational in 2009 and 2020.
In 2010, coal accounted for 36% of SEB’s generation mix with a total capacity of 1,346 MW. This was reduced to 20% in 2020, and will further be brought down to 11% in 2030, Sarbini stated.
He stated that SEB’s first large-scale, 50 MW solar farm will be in operation next year at Batang Ai hydro dam reservoir. This dam has a capacity of 108 MW and was constructed by SEB in 1980.
Sharbini stated that SEB’s total installed capacity will rise to 7,279 MW by 2030. Solar energy accounts for approximately 5% of the generation mix, while gas (16%), hydro (69%), and coal (11%).
“We strongly support the UN SDG-7 (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7), to provide clean and affordable energy for all, balancing energy security and sustainability. This will help in Sarawak’s growth.
He said that hydropower development is complemented with indigenous thermal resources to ensure energy security and diversity. “We have achieved a 71% decrease in carbon emissions intensity between 2011 and 2020 and we offer some of the most competitive tariffs within the region.”
Sarbini stated that SEB, through renewable hydropower, is powering energy-intensive industries at Samalaju Industrial Park located in Bintulu under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
He stated that Sarawak has a manufacturing system for the solar industry. OCIM Sdn Bhd is involved in polysilicon manufacturing in Samalaju Industrial Park and LONGi Kuching Sdn Bhd is engaged in manufacturing ingots, wafers and cells at Samajaya Industrial Park in Kuching (downstream).
Sarbini stated that SEB is on the verge of becoming an ASEAN renewable energy powerhouse through the development and operation of the Borneo Grid.
SEB exports electricity to West Kalimantan in Indonesia. It is also working with Brunei, and Sabah on an interconnection project to supply power to Sarawak neighbors.
Sharbini stated that SEB is expanding its renewable energy footprint by building and commissioning South-East Asia’s first hydrogen production and refuelling station. The plant also includes hydrogen cars, which are now part of its corporate fleet.