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KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor launched the Sabah Energy Roadmap and Master Plan 2040 (SE-RAMP 2040) Tuesday to address the State’s near-term needs, while building future long-term resilience of the industry.

The Masterplan outlines the State’s direction and strategic initiatives in anticipation of the State Government’s taking over of the regulatory powers for Electricity Supply and Renewable Energy from the Federal Government come January.

“The State Government is committed to ensuring the SE-RAMP 2040 is implemented systematically and effectively,” Hajiji said at the launch held at Menara Kinabalu.

Under the Masterplan, the Sabah Energy Council would be set up under the Chief Minister to monitor, support and provide guidance on the implementation of the planned short, medium and long-term initiatives.

 

Among the objectives of the SE-RAMP 2040 is to ensure dependable power supply, with equal access and comprehensive coverage at an affordable price in line with the Government’s aspiration to continue making power accessible to the people amid sustainability.

“It is also to complement the National Energy Policy launched last year, and the National Energy Transition Roadmap 2050 (NETR) launched in August,” said Hajiji.

The SE-RAMP 2040, formulated by the Energy Commission of Sabah (ECoS) covers various strategies and initiatives to balance the energy trilemma of energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability.

“The power supply issue in Sabah has been plaguing the people for so long. The Government is committed to addressing this legacy issue and making every effort to resolve it.

“Furthermore, with the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) investor-friendly policy, basic infrastructure needs such as electricity and water supply remain a priority.

This plan will certainly pave the way to ramp up electricity supply for industry needs, and I want ECoS to carry out their mandate to its best level for the people and State,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the State Government had already secured several high-impact investors such as copper coil manufacturer SK Nexilis, solar glass manufacturer Kibing, Linaco coconut integrated processing mill and green steel project, Esteel.

 With the SE-RAMP 2040 in place, Sabah hopes to attract more investors to promote economic growth and create spinoffs while providing job opportunities for Sabahans.

Hajiji said the setting up of ECoS through the Sabah Energy Commission Enactment 2023 and Gas Supply Enactment 2023 following the Federal handover of gas regulatory power and the Energy Commission function in January was historical for Sabah.

“It showed the high commitment and cooperation of both State and Federal Governments in implementing the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

“This Masterplan is also one of the successes of the State Government in getting our rights under the MA63,” he said.

 He reiterated that the State Government would be taking over the regulatory authority on power supply and renewable energy from the Federal Energy Commission and Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA), respectively, three months from now on Jan. 3, 2024.

“By having total regulatory control of the energy sector in Sabah through ECoS, which has already been carrying out its duties as the onshore gas supply regulator, would also regulate its electricity and renewable energy supply.

 “This means the State Government will be able to decide on matters involving enactment of laws, policy-making, electricity and renewable energy infrastructure in tandem with Sabah’s holistic development plan.

“Even though ECoS will only be taking full control next year, it has already moved ahead to prepare the Masterplan for Sabah’s gas, electricity and renewable energy for the next 17 years,” he said.

“I fully support SE-RAMP 2040 as it will provide guidelines for the Government and players of the gas and electricity sector,” he said, adding it would ensure that Sabah’s energy industry is monitored closely and continue to grow.

“The Masterplan is the pride of the State Government because we will be able to chart our path to drive the gas and electricity supply sector development since we are the ones who better understand our state’s energy needs,” he said.

Meanwhile, ECoS Chief Executive Officer Datuk Ir. Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid said the SE-RAMP 2040 has adopted 16 strategies to address the energy trilemma of Energy Security, Accessibility and Affordability, and Environmental Sustainability.

Among them were ensuring a sufficient generation reserve margin, diversified fuel mix, and new energy sources and technologies for the longer term to achieve energy security.