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SESB to undergo a major makeover: Max

Published on: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) is expected to undergo a major re-invention as part of the Government's moves to further improve the power supply situation in Sabah.

Energy, Green Energy and Water Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the consultant appointed by the Federal Cabinet to study the electricity supply situation in the country had just completed the studies. "I have just been briefed and within two weeks I will prepare a report to the Cabinet," he said during a dinner reception with the media at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Sunday.

He said a major revamp of SESB was necessary since at the moment it is an insolvent company.

"We cannot blame them because for 22 years they have not made any adjustment and with limited (Capex) capital expenditure," he said.

Ongkili said as part of the moves to increase the electricity tariff in Sabah last year, the Federal Government had committed RM1.8 billion to SESB for the next three years and this was exclusive of the RM200 million it was providing annually to the utility company.

"I believe the SESB management would be looking into reinventing the organisaton and we cannot look at the past. We have to look at it from the whole perspective.

"Everybody is accountable for the key performance index (KPI).

As a utility you cannot expect them to lose but they have done their best within the confines of the terms of reference," he said.

Ongkili said that the future for Sabah power supply should only be better.

In fact, he said the power situation in Sabah had improved drastically the past month with the two independent power producers in Kimanis now already in full stream.

"Every day we now have 120mw to 160mw marginal reserve," he said.

However, in the coming two years, he believed the challenge in Sabah was distribution since about 80 per cent of the electricity cables were of the old types.

In terms of the System Average Interruption Duration Index (Saidi) for Sabah, Ongkili said the target of 350 minutes might not be achievable this year due to the Jan. 17 statewide blackout.

"As of July we already reached 338 minutes Saidi but barring anymore serious incident we might be still within tolerable levels this year," he said.

On another note, he said his Ministry would also be going to the Cabinet in the next two months to discuss the proposed Ulu Padas 180mw hydro power plant.