NUSAJAYA: THE Johor government is looking into a proposal to build the first hydroelectric dam in the state on Sungai Johor.
State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said a few companies were interested in the project, after it was revealed recently by Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar that the proposal could be a way to solve the state’s water supply woes.
The project is likely to be located in the upstream portion of Sungai Johor and could cost between RM6 billion and RM7 billion, depending on the model.
Based on an initial proposal being considered by the state executive council and state Economic Planning Unit, the hydroelectric dam could double up as a road that connects west and eastern Johor.
About 65 per cent of the state’s water supply is sourced from Sungai Johor. Seven dams draw raw water from the river and its tributaries.
Hasni said the proposed dam would improve Johor’s water supply infrastructure and provide power to development projects on the state’s east coast.
“Companies have shown interest in the project, but the details cannot be revealed as there have not been any official submissions.
“The state government is also open to proposals from Tenaga Nasional Bhd and private companies in the power sector such as Malakoff Corporation Bhd, YTL (YTL Power International Bhd) and consortiums.
“The state government will know by the end of the year, when it gathers proposals from parties who have the experience and financial capacity to carry out the project.”
On his official Facebook page on Oct 18, Sultan Ibrahim urged the state government to find solutions to the water shortage. Low water levels at two dams had led to water rationing in three districts.
“A hydroelectric dam’s lifespan could go beyond 150 years. It is unlike coal or gas turbine power plants as the production is consistent and is not affected by the price of coal. A new dam will stabilise water reserves in Sungai Johor while keeping pollution in check, as it prevents agricultural activities upstream of the river,” said Hasni.
He said the dam would provide additional power to the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development in Pengerang and upcoming Bus Rapid Transit system in Iskandar Malaysia. Hasni said the proposal was subject to consideration by the Federal Government and discussions with Singapore as the Linggiu dam, owned by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board, was dependent on water from the river.