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Petronas, CMS and Gamuda seen as strong contenders for construction of hydroelectric dams

Petronas, CMS and Gamuda seen as strong contenders for construction of hydroelectric dams

14 Nov 2023

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd and Gamuda Bhd are strong contenders for Sarawak’s green energy expansion, according to industry insiders.

Sarawak’s government intends to build more hydroelectric dams in its two largest rural districts namely Kapit and Baram in the near future.

Prior to this, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg reportedly said in May that he had asked Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to assess the feasibility of building cascading hydropower dams on the Trusan River in Limbang division.

The 275 MW Trusan Dam, along with the planned dams in Kapit and Baram, is part of a new batch of hydropower dams being planned across the energy-intensive areas of SCORE, Sarawak’s renewable-themed growth corridor.

Unlike the majority of mega dam projects, Trusan Dam will provide both electricity and water.

“This is critical to Sarawak’s goal of generating 7,000 megawatts (MW) of power by 2026,” an industry insider told Business Times.

Petronas reportedly agreed to take equity in the Trusan Dam, and the state government is also in talks with a third party for the same purpose.

Petronas’ wholly-owned Gentari Sdn Bhd has also signed two strategic collaboration agreements with SEB and SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd to explore potential opportunities to work together in developing and deploying clean energy solutions in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, the new dams will use a cascading design similar to those used in Tasmania, the Nordic countries, and Europe’s River Danube.

These developments, according to the industry insider, have led him to believe that Sarawak’s hydropower initiatives are about to enter a new development cycle.

Sarawak’s green energy expansion could be timely for Gamuda, which has committed a RM2 billion investment over a five-year period in the Malaysian and international renewable energy (RE) space, with Sabah and Sarawak shaping up as potential markets.

“Gamuda is in advanced talks on large-scale RE assets, with the overarching goal of increasing its RE asset portfolio to over 800 MW in the coming years, in line with the Gamuda Green Plan 2025.

“We believe that Gamuda could emerge as a contender for the RM4 billion Ulu Padas Hydroelectric project in Tenom, Sabah which, if resurrected, could solidify its position,” he said.

CMS, on the other hand, is Sarawak’s sole cement manufacturer.

Through a 49:51 joint venture with Sarawak Energy Development Corporation, the company has a strong presence in Sarawak’s construction and quarrying businesses.

KKB Engineering Bhd, the company’s 17.9 per cent subsidiary, was previously involved in the Bakun hydroelectric dam project by providing galvanised structural steel and subcontract work secured directly from the Malaysia-China Hydro (MCH) JV.

According to one source, CMS seeks to improve its long-term profit margins through green initiatives during the fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

Source: NST