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Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Syarikat Sesco Bhd (Sesco), a subsidiary of Sarawak Energy, today signed a power exchange agreement and an interconnection agreement, marking a historic milestone in materialising the Borneo Grid and the wider Asean Power Grid.
A joint statement issued after the event stated that the two agreements were signed on behalf of SESB by its CEO Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid while Sarawak Energy Group CEO Sharbini Suhaili signed on behalf of Sesco in a virtual ceremony.
“The agreements would pave the way for an initial export of 30 Megawatt (MW) for a term of 15 years via a 31km 275kV double circuit transmission line which would run from Lawas in Sarawak to Mengalong in Sabah,” the statement said.
The interconnection is expected to commence by the end-2023, once the grid expansion under Sarawak Energy’s Northern Agenda has connected Miri to the northern towns of Limbang and Lawas.
Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor and Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg witnessed the virtual signing ceremony from their offices in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching respectively.
Sarawak Energy chairperson Abdul Hamed Sepawi said at the ceremony that the event was the culmination of its collaboration with SESB since an initial head of agreement was signed in 2013, followed by a joint feasibility study in 2016 and a term sheet signing last year.
This interconnection project is expected to diversify the generation mix for Sabah and Sarawak while enhancing system reliability and security by sharing generation resources for both Sarawak Energy and Sabah Electricity.
“The project is also expected to facilitate economic collaboration between the two states, accelerating renewable energy transformation and supporting economic growth in Borneo,” he added.
The signing of the agreements comes after Sarawak’s first successful interconnection in 2016 when it began exporting energy to West Kalimantan in Indonesia through a 120km 275kV double circuit transmission line stretching from Mambong in Sarawak to Bengkayang, West Kalimantan.
Meanwhile, Tenaga Nasional Bhd chairperson Mahdzir Khalid said the 275kV Sabah-Sarawak interconnection line is the first project connecting electricity supply between the two states to strengthen electricity supply as approved by the Electricity Supply and Tariff Planning and Implementation Committee.
“The signing of the agreement was paramount in line with SESB’s Sustainability Plan and the aspiration of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia–Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) and the Heads of Asean Power Utilities/Authorities (Hapua),” added Mahdzir, who is also SESB chairperson.