Friday, February 12, 2010

Power transmission to cater for smelter project

5 February 2010


KUCHING: The RM209mil Bakun-Similajau overhead transmission system project is for the import of additional electricity into the Sarawak state power grid system but primarily, to meet the power requirements of the proposed aluminium smelter project in Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu Division.

The project was awarded by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to Sinohydro-Naim joint venture last month. Sinohydro and Naim Holdings Bhd have a 60:40 share respectively in the joint venture.

“Sinohydro will provide the technological know-how and expertise in the implementation of the project,” said Naim corporate service and human resource senior director Ricky Kho.

He said the project would involve the construction of two transmission lines, one of which is a 112-km double-circuit quad bundle 275-kV line from the proposed Similajau power substation to the Bakun hydroelectric dam substation in the upper Rejang River Basin.

The second line would involve the construction of a 26-km double-circuit quad bundle 275-kV line from the proposed Similajau substation to the proposed aluminium smelter substation, Kho said.

“The project will develop the second phase of transmission interconnection between Bakun and Similajau 275-kV substation.

“It serves to reinforce power import of more than 1,000MW additional power from Bakun dam into the state power grid system, and between 900MW and 1,200MW from Bakun dam into the proposed aluminium smelter in the Samalaju Industrial Park,” he told StarBiz yesterday.

Kho said preliminary works of the Bakun-Similajau transmission line project started a month ago.

The project’s completion date under the two-year contract is Jan 3, 2012.

In 2007, Rio Tinto Alcan, the world’s third largest mining group, and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMSB), announced the setting up of a 60:40 joint venture to invest in a proposed RM7bil aluminium smelter in Samalaju Industrial Park. The proposed smelter is expected to start with an initial production of 550,000 tonnes a year, which will eventually be raised to 1.5mil tonnes annually.

Under a memorandum of undstanding (MoU) signed between SEB, CMSB and Rio Tinto in 2008, SEB would supply power of between 900MW and 1,200MW to the proposed Rio Tinto-CMSB JV aluminium smelter. Bakun dam, which could generate up to 2,400MW, is expected to start producing 300MW in the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: The Star

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