Abang Johari (centre) speaks to reporters. Flanking him are Julaihi (left) and Abdul Aziz. — UKAS photo

KUCHING (Oct 31): A feasibility study will commence soon for the laying of undersea electricity cables from Tondong, Sarawak to Singapore, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the matter was discussed and given the green light during the 10th Malaysia-Singapore Annual Leaders’ Retreat at the island republic on Oct 30 which he was among those who attended.

“I am happy to announce here that regarding the project to supply electricity to Singapore up to the maximum 1,000 megawatts (MW), we can now commence its feasibility study.

“This is especially on establishing undersea cables between Tondong in Sarawak to Singapore. The federal government has decided on this matter, and gave its green light for us to discuss further on the implementation of this project. In principle, it has been agreed (between us and Singapore),” he said.

The Premier mentioned these at a press conference after meeting the International Hydropower Association (IHA) president Malcolm Tumbull in conjunction with the World Hydropower Congress (WHC) 2023 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Indonesia today.

Based on previous news reports, the undersea cable will involve a distance of about 700km which will be going through Muri-Midai Corridor, for which Malaysia and Indonesia have signed a treaty. About 80 per cent of the cable will be in the Indonesian waters, while 20 per cent will be in Malaysian waters.

Speaking about his meeting with Turnbull, Abang Johari said that he had shared about the advantages of the state which has large renewable energy resources, especially in the generation of electricity.

He explained that electricity generation through the construction of hydroelectric dams can be implemented sustainably because Sarawak has many rivers and a high amount of rainfall.

According to him, rivers can be studied as an alternative to reservoir sources for hydropower generation.

“Actually, SEB already has a project in Lawas that uses the same system to produce hydro energy, but we want to increase it so that our hydro production has the potential based on the previous Snowy Mountains study report where the production potential is approximately 20,000MW whereby the production now is 7,000MW.

“So I have asked SEB to review it, because maybe at that time the input had not been updated yet. So at the moment, we are aiming to generate 20,000MW first by using the available methods,” he added.

Also present were the Minister of Utility and Telecommunications Sarawak Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) Group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili.