NEWS & UPDATES
Realising The Borneo Grid
INTERCONNECTION: A BIMP - EAGA FLAGSHIP MILESTONE
KUCHING, 26th July, 2017: The Borneo Grid is one step closer towards becoming a reality with the commissioning of the 275kV interconnection linking Mambong in Sarawak and Bengkayang in West Kalimantan in January 2016. This was highlighted at the 5th BIMP EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) meeting for the Power and Energy Infrastructure Cluster (PEIC).
“Congratulations to all involved in the implementation of our first BIMP-EAGA interconnection project. Driven by private entities Sarawak Energy Berhad and PT PLN (Persero) and with the strong support and backing of both governments, this is the first power interconnection between the two member countries of BIMP-EAGA,” said Yang Berhormat Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister of Utilities, Sarawak who delivered the keynote address at the event.
Recognized as a flagship project under BIMP EAGA, the interconnection provides for the transmission and sale of electricity between the two States.
It builds the foundation for the realization of the Borneo Grid which can potentially be the catalyst for the expansion of socio economic activities for both sides. This could also initiate harmonization of the policy environment and contribute towards materializing the greater ASEAN Power Grid Masterplan.
“With this, we can chart the future plans on how we can work together in other areas for the mutual benefit of Sarawak and West Kalimantan – not just for power export activities but also in the telecommunications sector as well as the exchange of knowledge in similar challenges such as rural electricity,” Rundi added.
The successful pioneering of Sarawak-West Kalimantan interconnection has established and implemented a power trading regime and provides the model for future power grid interconnections.
Sharbini Suhaili, Group Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Energy commented, “I am pleased to note that since the interconnection, Kalimantan Barat has displaced between 50MW to 130MW of diesel power with electricity from Sarawak. We believe that this translates into cost savings as well as lower carbon emissions for PLN and Kalbar, whom are our first export customer.”
About 75% of Sarawak’s energy is sourced from renewable hydropower with the remaining 25 percent from indigenous coal and gas sources.
“Interconnection projects are widely implemented in developed countries to enhance reliability for secured energy supply for most critical load system and are widely regarded as beneficial to both parties. However, this can only be realized with the spirit of cooperation. The challenges in the implementation of this project such as the different electrical standards were resolved with the strong support and cooperation from our PLN counterparts in West Kalimantan,” Sharbini said.
“This expands opportunities for us Sarawak Energy in our journey towards becoming a regional power hub for ASEAN. Currently, Sarawak Energy is maturing discussions for interconnections with our neighbours Sabah and Brunei Darussalam,” Sharbini added.
PLN General Manager Bima Putrajaya acknowledged that interconnection project had improved the economic sectors in West Kalimantan.
“Since the implementation of this project, we are able to provide sufficient power and has enabled the other sectors that require electricity to complete their works within the time frame,” Bima said, adding that PLN consumers are benefitting from this collaboration.
“This project has led to economic improvement in various sectors especially those that rely on electricity power,” Bima added.