SEB opens 3 more power transmission line projects for bidding

Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) has dished out three more power transmission line projects for open bidding, including a 275kV line from Mambong near here to neighbouring West Kalimantan to facilitate the export of electricity to the Indonesian province.

The other two 275kV transmission lines will supply electricity from SEB Samalaju sub-station to OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd’s proposed manganese and ferro alloy smelting plant and Japan’s Tokuyama Corppolycrystalline silicon plant (phase II), both in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu.

Tenders for the Tokuyama (phase II) transmission line project are being evaluated. The 132kV transmission line to its phase I project is near completion.

SEB has just awarded a contract to Sawaja Timur Sdn Bhd to build a 275kV line to supply power to Asia Minerals Ltd’s (AML) manganese and ferroalloy smelter, sources told StarBiz.

Construction work on the AML smelting plant is expected to start in the next few months on completion of earthworks.

SEB has completed another 275kV transmission line to connect Press Metal Bhd’s aluminium smelting plant in Samalaju. The line was “energised” nearly two months ago.

SEB is expected to award soon the contract for the construction of a 500kV backbone line stretching from Similajau, Bintulu to Kuching. It is now carrying out evaluations on the bidding companies.

According to SEB chief executive officer Torstein Dale Sjotveit, the 500kV backbone line would cost about RM3bil. It is expected to be ready in 2014.

The proposed Mambong-West Kalimantan transmission line, about 45km in length, would connect the SEB substation in Mambong, Jalan Penrissen to Bengkayang in West Kalimantan.

“The line will take 22 months to construct,” Sjotveit told StarBiz on Friday. Tender for the project closes on July 2.

Under a power exchange agreement (PEA) term sheet signed last July between SEB and PT PLN (Persero), the Indonesian power utility, SEB would sell the bulk of the electricity to West Kalimantan.

SEB would export up to 230 MW to PLN from mid-2014. Plans are also in store for Sarawak to export electricity to neighbouring Brunei and Sabah under the Brunei/Indonesia/Malaysia/Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) agenda.

Sjotveit said the second transmission line from Bakun hydro dam to SEB Samalaju substation had been completed.

The 2,400-MW Bakun dam is expected to supply 1,771 MW when all its eight turbines are operational. So far, only four turbines have been commissioned while the rest are under various stages of installation.

The Bakun power will be consumed mainly by energy-intensive industries in Samalaju Industrial Park within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

Under the power purchase agreements signed, SEB has committed a long-term supply of 500 MW to OM Materials, 480 MW to Press Metal and 270 MW to AML. It is not known how much electricity Tokuyama will buy from SEB.

Press Metal will be the first among the four pioneer Score investors to commence production in the next two months.

To complement Bakun, SEB is now developing the 944-MW Murum hydro dam, upstream of Bakun dam in the upper reaches of Rejang River in central Sarawak. Murum is scheduled for commissioning in 2014.

SEB is expected to complete later this year a transmission line from Murum hydro site to Murum junction.

Sjotveit had said recently that SEB would call for tenders to construct a proposed 600-MW coal-fired power station in Balingian, Mukah Division this year. SEB now owns a 270-MW coal-fired station in Mukah.

He has said that SEB’s 2012 priorities included accelerating the next round of power generation projects.

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