PBS suggests smaller auxiliary power plants
KOTA KINABALU, Feb 20 (The Borneo Post)
-- A series of smaller auxiliary power plants should be
built to meet the power needs of the Sandakan and Tawau
divisions following the scrapping of the coal power plant
near Lahad Datu, said PBS information chief Datuk Johnny
The Deputy State Assembly Speaker is wondering if one big
power plant to supply the east coast was the only option.
“During the long-running battle between proponents of the
coal-fired power plant and those who opposed it, I did wonder
why nobody considered the option of building a series of
smaller auxiliary power plants to meet the power needs of
the Sandakan and Tawau divisions.
“Of course I understand the principle of economies of scale,
but balanced against the need to preserve the environment
and the wishes of the people, surely the option of building
smaller plants in Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Tawau and linking
them with a grid is worth considering. A little more time
taken, perhaps, and possibly more money needed, but it would
be worth it to preserve our environment,” he said.
Mositun added this option could be the only feasible solution
considering the present economic situation and general rise
in prices of diesel, coal, natural gas and industrial equipment
He said it would cost less and take less time to build
a 150MW power station in Sandakan immediately and resolve
that area’s power woes within a couple of years.
“Similar or slightly smaller plants could be separately
built in Tawau and Lahad Datu, either simultaneously or
slightly later, but the idea should be considered. The main
point is that a staggered solution to the power woes of
the east coast is better than no solution. We’ve already
wasted six years on a mega project that never materialized,”
Mositun said TNB and SESB had also not been clear about
the proposed 300 MW power plant that had been scrapped.
“If it was intended to shut down the existing power stations
in Sandakan, Tawau and Lahad and supply the entire region
from the proposed 300 MW plant, SESB could reconsider. With
repairs and new equipment, these stations could still function
adequately, so any new station of say 100-120MW could more
than double the supply to that particular area,” he said.
In any event, Mositun said his view was that of a layman
and not a professional.
“It is up to TNB and SESB. They are the power experts and
know the merits or demerits of what I am thinking aloud.
After all, my suggestion is only that of a layman, well
intended but possibly not possible or feasible,” he said.