Sabah's Objection to the building of Coal Power Plant
Tawau, Nov 17, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) vice president
Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, today Sabah people's objections against the
building of the coal powered plant came from all walks of life.
"The NGOs, the environmental conservationists, SAPP and even some of
the members of the BN government voiced their objections against the
building of a coal powered plant in Felda Sahabat and it is no more a
political issue but a concern of the people which is dear to their
hearts," Chua said.
She said the people are at first very relieved when the Prime Minister,
YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak spoke about the coal technology as a dirty
technology and is not environmental friendly during his address at the TNB
60th anniversary on 31/10/09 and that the government needs to revise its
"But it was regretted that PM told the people of Sabah to be tolerant
and compromise to the building of the coal power plant in Felda Sahabat
during his recent visit to Sabah. The PM said the coal power plant is the
"only" viable alternative in the short term to resolve the long term power
woes in Sabah.
"In fact, the people in Sabah have been very tolerant of SESB and TNB
despite serious disruptions in all the major towns especially Tawau. Power
disruptions as frequent as these should be recorded in the Malaysian
Guinness Book of Records.
"People of Tawau have tolerated disruptions for the past 30 years with
interruptions 10 times more often than the average interruption duration
index and have virtually gone numbed. The government should be thankful to
the people for their high tolerance. It is not fair to ask the people to
compromise when the impending pollutions factors, in air, water and sea
and land affecting animals, eco-systems, undersea coral reef and marine
life, GHG (green house gas) and acid rain and the health of people
outweigh the development. Furthermore, the EIA hasn't even begun its
feasibility and viability study.
"There are countries e.g. Australia which have been successful on the
power generation from coal because of their large deposit of coal mine and
reserve and their very advanced technology in treating their coal, before,
during and after their power generation. China is also another country in
the world using coal power generation, where, due to acute pollution
factors, especially Green house emission, many of these generators (at
least 20 plants) are closing down. It is sad that we are still acquiring
the coal power technology from China when they are closing down their own
coal power technology. What is the rational?
"Furthermore, Green Peace Indonesia during its seminar in Kota Kinabalu
urged the Indonesian government to stop the coal mining (which is the
second biggest producer in the world) due to pollution problems especially
global warming. Sabah has to import the coal from Kalimantan for the coal
power plant and what happens when the imported coal runs out? How is Lahad
Datu going to produce 4 MLD (millions litres per day) with its present
supply of 1MLD to service the coal power plant?
She agreed with the PM that the heavy dependence on IPP (Indepedent Power
Producer), with contracts not favourable to the government should be
reviewed. According to the report by General Manager of SESB (Operations)
a few days ago that the main problem in Sabah is the unreliable supply by
IPP as IPP engines encountered problems leading to insufficient power
supply causing load shielding. Therefore the IPP should be held
responsible for their failure to supply especially when they are paid
double by the government (i.e. the commission and the generation of
supply). The penalty should be shouldered by the IPP and it's not fair
that the people especially from East coast, and Tawau has been tolerating
and now to compromise with the failure of the energy policy.
"With the recent statement by Encik Abd Razak that Tawau needs 72 MW
daily, IPP produces 36 MW, SESB produces around 11MW, new mobile
generators to be installed at Pasir Putih produces 20 MW, and with the
promise of Sime Darby new generators, Tawau should be self sufficient by
the end of the year.
"he recent reply by the minister of energy, green technology and water
that the Kimanis Gas power plant will produce 300MW in 2013-2014, will be
channeled to East Coast and Tawau via the West-East coast grid is also a
long term measures for Sabah. Furthermore, the announcement by the Advisor
of Sarawak State Planning Unit, Mr. Chang Ngee Hui that Sarawak has ample
power supply of 28,000MW ( 20,000 MW from Bakun) sufficient for Malaysia
and even for export. So the coal power plant is not the only option for
the East coast of Sabah as the ample supply can be supplied by Sarawak.
She hopes the PM would listen to the wishes of the people if he wanted the
1Malaysia concept he promoted to become reality.