Home / Sabah Local News

Micro-hydro for remote villages
Published on: Thursday, December 06, 2018

Penampang: The Government has agreed, in principle, to build a micro-hydro system in all villages in Sabah which are too remote to be connected to the state electricity grid.

It will start with 10 villages next year by working with the state's renewable energy champion, Tonibung.

State Rural Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (pic) said although this plan had yet to be approved, the Government is moving toward the direction with initial discussions already held.


"Basically, we have agreed, in principle, that some of the rural electrification project funds should be spent on installing a micro-hydro system in villages which are too far from the grid.

"This is seen as a cost effective solution to provide energy access to remote communities for to connect them to the grid will be very expensive," he said, after attending a briefing by Shell on its access to energy programme in Penampang.

Ewon said Tonibung is deemed an ideal partner considering its vast experience and proven expertise providing access to clean energy for rural communities.

"We're still trying to find a mechanism on how to work with them," he said.

He added that another round of discussions will be conducted with regard to the selection of the villages for the project which would be funded by the Federal Government.


Meanwhile, Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Ltd (SSPC) has signed an agreement with Tonibung and Pacos Trust, for a provision of RM300,000 that will go towards providing sustainable energy solutions for the villages of Buayan and Tiku in the Penampang, which will take place in 2019.

This is the second initiative of such, following the successful development of a micro-hydro power generation for Kg Sabibingkol in the district of Pensiangan which was implemented last year by SSPC with its partnership with Tonibung.

As of November 2018, the infrastructure has been fully commissioned and all 42 households in Sabibingkol are now receiving sustainable energy to their homes through a combination of solar and hydro power generated electricity. This has assisted the villagers tremendously in providing them lighting and in the usage of domestic electrical appliances.

"This initiative has not only provided sustainable electricity to the village but will also enable villagers to increase their incomes and improve their livelihood by leveraging on their resources. This option was not available before due to the inconsistency of electricity supply," said Prithipal Singh, General Manager of SSPC.

Much like their counterparts in Sabibingkol, the villagers of Kg Buayan and Kg Tiku continue to live without electricity supply that comes from the grid.


Through this partnership, a solution to install a new micro hydro-turbine, in addition to the existing two, in between the two villages was suggested.

This addition will generate a total of 38.8kw of electricity, double of what was initially available, to meet the energy requirements of about 70 households across both villages. It will also enable the ability to load shed excess electricity when the usage in either one of the villages is lower.

"With the success of the team's efforts in Sabibingkol, it is apparent to us that our Access to Energy (A2E) programme is replicable and scalable to fit the needs of other communities that are not yet connected to the national grid. As such, we have committed RM300,000 a year up to 2020, to do the necessary to help communities located in remote areas to have access to affordable and sustainable electricity supplies," he added.

The work for the new micro hydro turbine is expected to commence in January 2019.

Beyond the involvement of SSPC Tonibung and PACOS Trust, the work will also include the efforts from the villagers of both villages and Shell employees who will be volunteering to work on this initiative. - Leonard Alaza

Trending Stories



Follow us on            

Advertisement