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Plan to rent powerships from Turkey called off
Published on: Saturday, December 02, 2023
By: Anthea Peter
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Plan to rent powerships from Turkey called off
Nizam said as an alternative, the State Government will continue its interim plan to rent a diesel generator with a 100MW capacity until 2025.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah's plan to rent two 224 megawatt (MW) powerships from Turkey have been called off while alternative solutions were drawn out to resolve the matter, said Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan.

The plan, involving a leasing initiative spearheaded by Turkey’s Karpowership Global DMCC, was initially brought about last June as a short-term strategy to address the State’s critical electricity supply woes. 

However, Nizam said negotiations between Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Karpowership Global failed to reach a consensus regarding the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). 

“SESB decided to end negotiations on Sept 12 through a letter to the Sabah Energy Commission (ECoS) and the supplying company (Karpowership Global). 

“A follow-up meeting on this decision was held between the Natural Resources, Energy and Climate Change Ministry, the Sabah and Sarawak Affairs ministry, ECoS and SESB on Sept 20.

“It was agreed that the project would be cancelled and an alternative plan would be drawn out,” he said during question time at the State Assembly.

He was responding to Liawan Assemblyman Datuk Annuar Ayub who asked for updates on the project. 

Nizam said as an alternative, the State Government will continue its interim plan to rent a diesel generator with a 100MW capacity until 2025.

He said another alternative was to bring the installation of a 100MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) earlier to 2024 instead of 2026, while the EcoS will also refine the Power Development Plan (PDP) next year.

Nizam said several initiatives have been outlined in the PDP and divided into three phases — immediate phase (2023-2025), medium phase (2026-2023) and the long term phase (beyond 2030).

He explained that the goal in the immediate phase was to achieve a solid generation spare capacity of 30 per cent (300 MW), compared to the Sabah Grid’s maximum load which has almost reached 1,100MW. 

For this purpose, he said there are plans to implement several projects, which includes renting 100MW diesel generators in stages – 40MW in Dec this year and 60 MW in March next year, of which 90 MW would be located on Sabah’s East Coast. 

He said there are also plans to expand Tawau’s existing diesel-based power plant by 70MW, complete a 62MW large-scale solar project and utilise green energy from mini hydro sources (31.6MW) and biogas (5.6MW) on Sabah’s East Coast, among others. 

Nizam said medium phase solutions include adding generation capacity from hydro resources (400MW) and large-scale solar projects (100MW) while completing the transmission line connecting the Sabah Grid with Sarawak as well as the Southern Link Transmission project.

“This will further strengthen the capacity and stability of the Sabah grid to receive large load requests especially from industrial users in the future,” he said. 

In the long run, he said focus will be on improving Sabah’s hydroelectricity potential following results of a Hydro Development Plan study conducted by ECoS while new technologies and energy sources such as geothermal, wind and hydrogen would be explored. 

“Plans to connect the transmission line between Sabah and North Kalimantan will also be explored based on the results of a feasibility study,” he said. 

Nizam added that the PDP is in line with the Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan 2040, which has a focus on adding renewable energy to the State’s power generation sources. 

He said the State Government targets to have 50 per cent renewable energy in 2035 compared to the current nine per cent, adding that it will be increased to 80 per cent by 2050. 

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