The Sabah state government, under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, has announced the construction of a MYR 4 billion (USD 852 Million) hydroelectric dam in Ulu Padas, Tenom to address the state’s persistent water shortage. Slated for its groundbreaking in October 2023, Tenom Dam is the only major hydroelectric dam in Sabah and is anticipated to be completed by 2027.
The Tenom hydroelectric dam is a joint venture involving the state government, Sabah Energy Commission, and private stakeholders. Once operational, it aims to provide a steady water supply of up to 6,000 MLD, serving as a sustainable solution to water needs. In addition to this initiative, the state is exploring the possibility of a new dam, either in Papar or Kaiduan, and is undertaking repair work at the Telibong Phase Two Water Treatment Plant to enhance the water supply from Tuaran to Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
In addition, The Kogopon Water Treatment Plant is poised for a notable MYR 379 million (USD 80 million) expansion, aiming to amplify its capacity to 80 MLD by 2026. This upgrade will cater to both residential sectors and the growing needs of industrial entities, notably the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal and the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct, securing their water requirements until 2040. As of the previous year’s end, Sabah had a concerning water supply reserve margin of just 7.3%. Notably, only Sabah, Perlis, and Melaka have a water reserve margin below 10%.
(Sources: Malay Mail; The Sun Daily)