No more delays or excuses for Sabah infrastructure projects, says PM
07 Dec 2023 | The Star
Anwar at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ulu Padas Hydroelectric Dam project in Tenom, accompanied by Hajiji and other VIPs.

Kota Kinabalu: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants all development projects concerning water and electricity supply and the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah to be expedited.

The Prime Minister said this included the Ulu Padas Hydroelectric Dam project in the interior Tenom district, about 200km from here.

“Don’t give any excuses for it to be delayed,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the RM4bil project at Kampung Kungkular in Kemabong, Tenom on Thursday (Dec 7).

“Projects that are delayed will cause the cost to rise and affect the people’s hopes of getting basic amenities such as water and electricity.

“For this project, for example, both state and federal agencies must monitor its implementation.

“The initial projection (for completion) must be changed because it is critical for the people – complete it earlier.

“This is the attitude we must adopt now,” he said.

In his speech, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the project will generate 187.5MW of electricity and will contribute some 15% of Sabah’s energy supply.

“This will not only… meet our increasing energy demand, but is also critical for the development of the oil and gas sector and the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, driving economic growth in our state.

“In addition, a study is also being conducted so that this dam has the potential to supply clean and stable water flow to users up to 6,000 MLD (million litres per day),” he added.

Hajiji said the project is an important milestone in the development of the state’s infrastructure.

“This is also a step towards improving the people’s quality and our readiness to drive Sabah towards a new era of progress.

“This project will have a positive spillover effect on the local economy in terms of job opportunities, increasing income and encouraging entrepreneurship,” he said.

He added that the state government remained committed to strengthening energy resource management as seen by the launch of the Sabah Energy Master Plan and Direction 2040 (SE-RAMP 2040) in September.

According to Hajiji, Thursday’s groundbreaking also signified the strategic cooperation between the public and private sectors.

Project developer Upper Padas Power Sdn Bhd is the result of a partnership between the state government through Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn Bhd, and the private sector through Gamuda Berhad and Kerjaya Kagum Hitech JV Sdn Bhd.

“The presence of the Prime Minister (today) clearly shows the Federal Government’s support for Sabah, towards developing basic infrastructure for the benefit of the people,” he said.

The proposed dam site is in south-western Sipitang district, approximately 8.5km downstream from the confluence of the Padas and Melingan rivers, while the proposed powerhouse site is in Tenom, about 10km downstream of the dam.

The dam is scheduled for completion in 2029.