Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coal Fired Plant Proposal in LAHAD DATU-SESB

KOTA KINABALU: The Government will take into account the views and concerns of the people, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), on the proposed coal-fired plant in Lahad Datu. The plant is primarily aimed at boosting electricity supply in Sabah.

"We will take into account their views but whatever we do, it will be based on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report, and we will make sure we conform to the EIA report," Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters after attending a luncheon with Sabah Chinese community leaders here Sunday.

He said that currently, the Government's priority was to provide power for the state because incidences of power interruption were still too high.

"For Sabah to be developed, it needs continuous and uninterrupted supply at a reasonable cost. Of course, there are other alternatives but the cost of the alternatives is still higher than through the conventional system.

"People in Sabah are not prepared to pay higher do we develop alternative energy? And in the short term, there is not much alternative," he said.

Najib said this when asked about the development of green energy in the country, including a proposal to build a coal-based power plant in Lahad Datu on the eastern coast of Sabah.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman recently said that the EIA report on the controversial proposed coal-fired plant was expected to be out soon.

In September last year, Najib disclosed Felda Sahabat in Lahad Datu as the proposed site for the construction of the 300-megawatt coal-based power plant.

Currently, the electricity supply capacity in the eastern coast of Sabah is 200 megawatts from a diesel-based power plant.

Environmental groups have protested against the construction of the coal-based power plant, which they consider as "dirty" energy, and called on the Government to scrap the plan. - Bernama

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