Awarded after a lengthy and stringent tender process, the MYR432m ($132.6m) worth Package A & Package 2 contracts are in line with the twin objectives of the procurement process, which seeks the best possible value for the state, and increased participation of Sarawakian and Malaysian businesses.

Sarawak Energy Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit said, ”Our procurement and project execution teams have meticulously evaluated the bidders and following a stringent tender and evaluation process, we believe the best team has won.”

XD Group vice president Yang Bao Lin said, ”As the largest power transmission and distribution engineering firm in China, we are 100% behind the objectives of the 500 kV backbone project.”

Primarily designed to provide a strong high voltage transmission backbone, extending over 500km from Similajau in Bintulu, to Tondong in Kuching, Malaysia, the project is also expected to support future development of SEB’s generating system and provide a strong secure supply to the fast-expanding Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) customers.

The increased transmission capacity is needed to strengthen the existing electricity supply into Kuching and southwestern Sarawak.

The energy demand is projected to reach 8,000MW by 2030, of which 2,000MW will be required for residential, commercial and retail, whereas the remaining 6,000MW will be channeled into SCORE that has already brought in over $13bn in investments, which are helping drive statewide development.