Forty-nine projects from the RM2.3 billion Federal Government allocation to improve electricity supply in Sabah are nearing completion, Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Ir Dr Zaini Ujang said.
He expected that when all are fully completed in the near future, consumers in the State will see a more stable and reliable supply of electricity as promised by the Government.
He also said three projects were already fully completed while several others will be implemented soon.
"Our target is to bring down the System Average Interruption Duration Index (Saidi) to 100 minutes by the time all the projects are completed," he told reporters after officiating the Ministry's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme at Kampung Kibagu, in Sepanggar on Monday, 26 March.
According to Zaini, the current Saidi is 250 minutes. Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili reportedly said last year that the amount was channelled as grants to 57 projects involving power generation, delivery, distribution, post black-out and hydroelectric studies.
They include the construction of a 300MW gas power plant in Sandakan and 275kV transmission lines from Kalumpang to Sipitang. A special lab had also been initiated last year between the Ministry and Pemandu Associates to ensure the State achieves the 100-minute target by 2020.
Early this month, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan revealed that the Government had plans to implement drastic improvement to electricity supply in Sabah.
He said both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman were committed to solving electricity woes in the State, as proven by several initiatives already being implemented.
He acknowledged that frequent power disruptions would affect investments and economic activities in the State.
He noted that some of the initiatives taken towards improving power supply in the State included the announcement of an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Sandakan and the distribution of gas from Kimanis to Sandakan and Lahad Datuk to fuel the energy sector and industries.
Earlier, Zaini said the Ministry carried out the CSR programme in the village to promote green practice in energy use and water consumption to the community.
He said the Ministry wanted to better understand the problems faced by the people by going to the ground through the programme.
The CSR programme saw the installation of solar panels and rainwater harvesting system in the village mosque. Together with a group of Universiti Malaysia Sabah students, the Ministry also helped to refurbish the mosque. Villagers were also presented with electrical appliances.