Sunday, August 2, 2009

Status of the Proposed Murum and Limbang Dams


To ask the Minister of Public Utilities (Written Answer):

9. The status of the proposed Murum and Urn bang Dams including:

(a) Stage of development and funding sources;

(b) Basis of the selection/tendering process for the companiesinvolved in its main construction works;

(c) Shareholding and ownership of the companies concerned;

(d) Intended purchaser(s) of the energy;

(e) Status of El A process and the inclusion of public participation;

(f) Number of affected communities, whether directly (relocation) orindirectly, how they have been consulted and whether their free,prior and informed consent is obtained; and

(g) In relation to the now disturbed states of the Balui and Murum catchments as a result of the aforementioned plantation licenses, has the technical viability of the Murum dam been compromised?

(Written Answer)

For the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kidurong,

(a) The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Murum Dam has been awarded by SEB and mobilization for the preparatory works of the diversion tunnels has commenced. In the case of the Limbang Dam, the feasibility study is still on-going and is in its finalization stage. Fundings for the development and construction for these dams will be raised from the external capital market without any government guarantees.

(b) The tendering process for the Murum Dam involved invitation to eight well known international contractors and the selection is based on acceptable and attractive financial and technical considerations.

(c) The company Yangtze Three Gorges Technology And Economy
Development which has been awarded the EPC contract for the implementation of Murum Dam project is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Three Gorges Project Corporation who is the developer, owner and operator of the renowned China Three Gorges Project which currently has a total installed capacity of 18,200 MW. When fully completed the China Three Gorges Project would generate a total of 22,400MW of power.

(d) Power from the Murum Dam would be required to meet the load demands from the aluminum smelter plants and other energy intensive industries which have shown keen interest to setup their plants in the State particularly within SCORE.

(e) The EIA report for Murum HEP Dam was submitted to NREB on 30th
April 2008 and was reviewed by an expert panel who has made recommendations to ensure all environmental issues are adequately addressed. During the preparation of the EIA study, the affected people were briefed, consulted and interviewed on the proposed project and their perceptions were recorded. This formed an important element for the public participations at the early stage of the EIA process.

(f) There are 6 numbers of longhouses with the total population of about 1,000 people which will be affected by Murum Dam Project and all these populations as mentioned earlier has been consulted at the early stage of the EIA process. Further consultations were also undertaken by the Murum Resettlement Committee formed by the State Government of Sarawak to engage proactively with the locals so that they are adequately informed of the project and to incorporate their opinions and concerns when undertaking the resettlement program.

(g) SEB has undertaken a study to update and extend the hydrological database that incorporates information between 1999 to 2007 and confirmed that the project is viable with an installed capacity of 900 MW and energy output of 5,468 GWh annually. The study also confirmed that the technical viability of the Murum hydro dam will not be affected by the plantations.

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