New technology adopted to power remote Ba’kelalan – Sarawak Energy

— Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) has adopted a new distribution system technology known as Medium Voltage Covered Conductor (MVCC) to connect Lawas town with the interior settlement of Ba’Kelalan in the Sarawak’s northernmost district.

Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili said the technology was adopted due to the harsh geographical condition in the area which is remote and mountainous, with the first phase had commenced and to be synchronised with the Lawas Town Extra High Voltage substation in 2022.

“MVCC is able to withstand momentary contact with crops or vegetation without causing interruptions and this will help in strengthening supply reliability,” he said in a statement today.

Ba’Kelalan, located about eight hours drive through former logging roads from Lawas town, are known for its highland salts and “Adan” rice produced by farmers there in an environment-friendly and a chemical-free farming method called System of Rice Intensification (SRI).

However, due to the distance from the town, the farmers were rarely able to sell their produce to bigger markets, while the rice had to be processed manually or by machines powered by diesel generators which could only run for a limited period.

In the same statement, Sarawak Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom assured the communities there that with steady electricity supply by 2023, they would have access to refrigeration as well as modern machinery to boost their farming productivity.

“The communities in rural Lawas will be able to process their produce and sell them in bigger and further away towns and similar planning and implementation of rural electrifications throughout Sarawak are undertaken to achieve full supply coverage,” he said.

According to the minister, about 18,000 rural households in Limbang Division, where Lawas is part of it, had enjoyed reliable and affordable supply through the simultaneous implementation of the Rural Electrification Scheme or RES and Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme (SARES).

“By the end of 2021, almost 200 more households in the division will be connected to the (main electricity) grid. By 2023 a further 866 households will have access to reliable 24-hour electricity to achieve full electrification for the entire division,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency