Wednesday, December 16

Bakun power for Sarawak and what does it mean?

It was reported in The Borneo Post of 12 December 09 (Saturday) issue that all power from Bakun hydroelectric dam, will be fully commissioned next year and will be fully operational 2011, will now go to Sarawak in order to serve the State’s own industrial needs.

This is following the agreement given by the Federal Government to the state’s request to have the power from Bakun dedicated entirely for local industries, especially under Sarawak Corridor Renewal Energy (SCORE).

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who revealed this, said the state government was now taking the next step which was to package a deal to ‘lease’ Bakun hydroelectric dam from the federal government.

“The prime minister has agreed with the state government that Bakun will be first used to supply the needs of establishing Sarawak’s heavy industries. All power from Bakun will be now available to us,” Taib said.

Bakun is expected to produce 1,776W of ‘firm’ electricity when fully operational in 2011.

With the announcement, it looks likely that the plan to ‘export’ power from Bakun to the peninsular Malaysia via submarine cables by 2015 will not be implemented as originally scheduled.

According to Taib, more dams will be built after Bakun, and construction work on Murum has started and is expected to be completed in 2013.

“We are doing feasibility studies for dams in Baram and Ulu Baleh. And that it is not the end of the story, because of our high potential to produce up to 28,000MW from the 12 hydroelectric dams planned for Sarawak.

“This is going to be the core of development in Sarawak in the next 20 years. It will give us development that is quite different from the past,”
said Taib.

The Broken Shield’s comment:

Firstly, it is understood Peninsular Malaysia does not need power from Bakun as it has an excess supply of electricity supplied to TNB through IPPs (Independent Power Providers).

In fact TNB is paying excess power supply for nothing. But it has to do it as agreement has been signed lasting 60 years. Furthermore, TNB operational costs have soared from RM9 billion in 2008 to around RM12 billion in 2009.

So Peninsular Malaysia does not need electricity from Bakun. Sarawak is therefore forced to take back Bakun hydroelectric dam which is worth more than RM10 billion to build.

By taking over it, it also means that Sarawak and the people of Sarawak have to take over the financial burden and as well as to pay back the costs (over RM10 billion) of the construction to the Federal government, which, I am sure, will be considered as loan.

But having Bakun alone, Taib is not satisfied as he wants to build 12 more dams in the State and the total amount of construction including infrastructures may run to over RM100 billion. Do we really need these dams to produce more than 28,000MW to generate our industries?

All these dams are to supply electricity to SCORE especially to be used by an aluminum smelting plant to be built in the Samalajau area in Bintulu.

For your information, not many countries in the world are keen to have an aluminum smelting plants built in their areas as the plants produce toxic that is harmful to the health of the people.

Anyway, Taib, dissatisfied with the construction of the 12 hydro-dams, is also building a RM800 million coal powered electricity plant in Mukah just because he wants to mine coal from Nanga Merit, Kapit.

And the question that comes to mind is: Who will benefit from all these dams?

The names of CMS, Taib’s family business is expected to provide building materials and the construction of roads; Naim Cendera will do the housing projects, Hock Seng Lee, Sarawak Energy and other crony companies are sure to benefit.

But who will lose and suffer?

Thousands of natives and their longhouses will be displaced, and thousands of their NCR land and their cultural heritage will be submerged and the people’s livelihood will be uprooted.

And for the people of Bintulu and those nearby, they will suffer from toxic coming from this smelting plant.

Reports from Brazil, a leading country in the aluminum smelting, say: “Emissions of dust consisting of clay and bauxite residue saturated with caustic soda (red mud) is the main problem, although emissions to the atmosphere of gases and particles from boilers, calcinations furnaces and bauxite dryers may also important. In aluminum smelting the emissions of fluorides from reduction cells and gases, smoke and steam resulting from pitch distillation are considered most important.

“Finally, in aluminum fabrication, emissions of gases and particles from smelting and re-heating furnaces pose the largest problems.”

The health problems associated with aluminum are cancer, respiratory problems, infertility, bone deformity, teeth decay, Alzheimer’s diseases, and etc.

In anticipating of all these health problems, should not the government build a big hospital in Bintulu fully equipped with cardiac, cancer, eye, nose and throat, dental and Alzheimer’s diseases units?

What do you think? - The Broken Shield



Anonymous said...

This is the politic of development. Business first rakyaat later...hee...hee...

Anonymous said...

ukai ketegal ka ngambi ati rakyat sarawak kini, bakun tu "pulai" ngagai sarawak baru..laban taun depan bepilih nda lama agi..entahlah..semua utai tau nyadika politik view magang

Aki Josh said...

Excellent post, Jetty! It is worth adding that Rio Tinto has been very careful to make sure that the social and environmental impacts of the Murum Dam are acceptable internationally, because Murum is the proposed source of electricity for their smelter. Rio Tinto senior management was able to bend the CM's arm to ensure there was not another debacle like the Bakun resettlement. If Bakun is supposedly now to be used for aluminium smelting, will Rio Tinto be prepared to buy electricity from this source, given the damage it would do to its corporate image? If not Rio Tinto, who else will use this massive supply?

Anonymous said...

this gov't will be forced to beg, steal or borrow to finance this white elephant and our great grand children will all be in debt. we will never get the yoke off our collar.

and also this gov't will sure find ways to increase its coffer by increasing taxes and other means.

our small stomach can't eat such a big meal. stop all this mega project before it bankrupt us.

Anonymous said...

Many bizness premises in Sarawak do not actually pay their power bills and you don't need second guesses who these are. The Car Park Restaurant in Rubber Road for eg is doing same.

Even Bakun will not be enough for all "these people".

Sarawak consumers of course will pay full. The cronies as in Malaya get spoonfed by the paying voters!

Don't try and wonder why SESCO power in residential areas get knocked out so often now. These cronies are using it all up so sub-power stations burned out or they tripped it off to serve those other premises.

"The people" actually is "powerless"!

Anonymous said...

BN ngaga kerja ka bansa bukai datai ka sarawak di kena ngelaban bansa asal menoa sarawak leboh bepilih bansa bukai nya meh ti ngundi BN laban di beri BN IC/KP kena ngundi

Anonymous said...

Taib's wife died from gancer. And he himself is rumoured to also suffer from cancer. Now he wants all Sarawakians to suffer the same by inviting foreign companies to process aluminium in Sarawak. Not only the natives will suffer. All Sarawakians will also suffer as we are going to foot the bills for generations to come.

Anonymous said...


Apa itu, argh?!

Kalau cronies tidak untung, itu viable untuk rakyat.

Kalau cronies untung, rakyat rugi, itu viability!

Tanya itu J Low sama Sulaiman Taib !

Apai Semalau said...

Damn the dams! Flooding large forested areas to build "white elephant" dam projects are only contributing to global warming. Its in complete contradiction to the Pm's promise to reduce carbon emission. We need green forest now more than ever to adsorb the carbon. So, why are we destroying our forest? We don't need the electricity unless we are lighting up the whole Sarawak into a Xmas tree. What we need are, HOUSES, over the head for the low income groups. These are the ones living below the poverty lines that the government should provide for with our tax money instead of building those damn dams to line the pockets of a few. Sarawakians are damn for the love of dams by their leaders?

Anonymous said...

(The Star) - Failure to pass next year’s Budget would have led to severe consequences for the country, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
He said the country could have “collapsed” if the Budget had not been passed at the Parliament on Monday.

“This is not a trivial matter. The Budget lines out the allocation and expenditure to be used for the country’s development next year.

“There is not one country in the world that can carry on without a Budget,” he told reporters after opening the Tambun Barisan Nasional Mobile Service Centre at Taman Perpaduan here Saturday.

On Monday, the Budget managed to scrape through with a thin majority of three votes with 66 votes from the Barisan MPs against 63 from Pakatan Rakyat MPs in the Dewan Rakyat.

And this can also happen to sarawak if taib start rearing white elephants.He is running out of time so that's why he is on a mad mad spending spree.He just spend without any thoughts becos he always blare his 'politics of of extravagant development.He is building too many of these dams any we will be choke to death with no one buying this electricity.

Bet taib wants all sarawakian to remember him when he leave the scene and that's why he built all this damming monuments.

Ben Obama said...

Senang ajanya kaban, nda ibuh kitai pedis rekong belaban enggau sida ke megai menua. Kitai semua patut kimpin madah kebala sida rebak baru register ngambi ke ulih enggau ngundi muaibala sidak YB BN ke ngaga penusah ke bala kitai di Sarawak. Awak ke sida ia nemu sapa ke bekuasa. Duit sida ke undi kita. Kitai patut madah ke bala begerempung seati numbang ke sida ke berkuasa ngambi kitai ulih nukar sida ia.