KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) will phase out its 210MW Sejingkat coal-fired power plant here as it adds more renewable energy capacity, like hydro and solar, to its generation mix.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili said the decommissioning of the Sejingkat power station would be carried out in stages for completion by 2026.
He said the move is in line with the state utility body’s commitment to further reduce its carbon emissions and decarbonise its power grid by increasing generation from renewable energy sources.
The Sejingkat power station was built in two phases in 1998 and 2004, and is the oldest of the three operating coal-fired power plants owned by SEB.
The other two coal-fired power plant are in Mukah and Balingian in central Sarawak, which have installed capacity 270 MW and 624 MW and were fully commissioned in 2009 and 2020, respectively.
In 2010, coal made up 36% of SEB’s generation mix (total generation capacity of 1,346 MW), and this was reduced to 20% in 2020 and will be further brought down to 11% by 2030, Sarbini said in his presentation at the Sarawak-Korea Energy business forum here.
Gas contributed 44%, diesel 12% and hydro 8% to SEB’s generation mix in 2010.
Following the commissioning of the Bakun hydroelectric dam (2,400 MW) and Murum dam (944 MW), this drastically boosted SEB’s installed capacity to 5,222 MW in 2020, with hydro contributing 68% to the general mix.
The contribution of gas and diesel to the generation mix was cut to 11% and 1%, respectively.
SEB owns Bintulu gas-fired power plant with a combined installed capacity of 482 MW, with the first open-cycle gas turbine (165 MW) commissioned in 1991 and combined-cycle gas turbine (317 MW) operational in 2010.
Sharbini said SEB is currently constructing the Baleh hydro dam (1,285 MW), which is expected to be commissioned in 2027.
The Bakun, Murum and Baleh dams are also located in the interiors of the upper Rejang basin in Kapit Division.
He said SEB’s first large-scale solar farm, with installed capacity of 50 MW at the Batang Ai hydro dam reservoir, will be operational next year.
The dam, with installed capacity of 108 MW, is SEB’s first hydroelectric dam built in the 1980’s.
By 2030, Sharbini said SEB’s installed capacity will be raised to 7,279 MW, with solar energy accounting for about 5% of the generation mix ,hydro (69%), gas (16%) and coal (11%).
SEB’s installed capacity is planned to be further beefed up to 7,629 MW by 2040, with generation mix of hydro (69%), gas (15%), coal (10%), solar (5%) and biomass (1%).
“Our hydroelectric power dams are developed according to International Commission on Large Dams standards and guidelines to ensure they are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically and are environmentally and socially equitable.