Speculation as to Malaysia’s future economic priorities have frequently focused on the country’s oil and gas reserves, palm oil production, high-tech manufacturing, real estate and, of course, tourism.
While its potential strengths in the hydropower sector have remained largely overlooked, two high-profile dam projects may be about to change all that, with Sarawak’s long-mooted Corridor of Renewable Energy now set to become a reality.
Last month, Sarawak Energy Berhad, the power generation company owned and operated by the state government of Sarawak, completed its purchase of the 2,400 mW Bakun Dam from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.
The company paid RM2.5 billion in cash, with a further RM6 billion in loan facilities, to take possession of one of Southeast Asia’s most significant – and controversial – power projects. Work on the dam was originally completed in 2010, but the site didn’t come fully online until July 2014.