Players can vie for contracts in 12 hydro projects in Sarawak
Starbiz, The Star. 25 July 2008
PETALING JAYA: Construction players can look forward to contracts under the 12 hydroelectric projects in Sarawak amid the slowdown in the economy.
The projects span a period of 12 years, with 2020 as the targeted year for completion.
Sarawak Energy Bhd, which is listed on Bursa Malaysia and 65% owned by the state government, is the main entity that generates, transmits and distributes electricity in the state.
Its role is similar to Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s in Peninsular Malaysia. As such, it will be responsible for the set-up of the 12 projects.
For the various scope of work, the foreign players will have the upper hand in mechanical and engineering works.
For example, China Three Gorges Project Corp was mandated by the Sarawak to implement the Murum hydroelectric dam project.
As for the local players, they can find opportunities in civil, operations and maintenance works.
The Sime Darby group, for example, could leverage on its experience as the present contractor for the Bakun dam.
WCT Engineering Bhd also stands a good chance to secure more hydroelectric jobs given its track record in doing civil works for the Bakun project and building a dam in Bintulu.
Civil engineering and construction company Loh & Loh Corp Bhd, which has a niche in dam building and water works, has indicated interest to venture into hydroelectric jobs, especially in Sarawak.
Last month, it announced that together with partners, Rohas-Euco Industries Bhd and SMHB Engineering Sdn Bhd, it had won the exclusive right to build, own and operate a hydroelectric project along the Nam Sane River in Laos.
The consortium plans to build a power plant with annual capacity of 300 to 350 gigawatts, which will sell electricity to the Laos government.
Hence, it won’t be surprising if Loh & Loh manages to get a slice of the pie in Sarawak.
Infrastructure company Naim Cendera Bhd also has the technical expertise in implementing hydroelectric jobs.
Being Sarawak’s homegrown company, it will have a better understanding and knowledge in handling state projects.
An analyst with a local brokerage noted that aside from Bakun, there were not many new hydroelectric dams in the country.
Those that are interested in participating in Sarawak’s hydroelectric projects are likely to form joint ventures with foreign partners.
This would ease funding issues and allow them to leverage on the partners’ technical expertise.
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