RM1.3b power plant is no-go
Thursday, 03 April 2008
KOTA KINABALU: The controversial RM1.3 billion coal fired plant project in Lahad Datu has been axed as the government feels that it may have an adverse impact on the environment.
The issue was brought up during the state cabinet meeting yesterday and it was decided that Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd and Tenaga Nasional Berhad will have to look for alternative sources of energy and sites.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that after weighing the pros and cons, they had decided to do away with the proposal and not to risk the health and welfare of the communities in the area.
The proposed site is also next to Darvel Bay, which had recently been earmarked for eco-tourism development, and conservation areas like Maliau Basin, Danum Valley and Ulu Segama, which have highly sensitive eco systems, are also in the vicinity.
"We cannot allow such a plant to be built in the location because these conservation areas have been designated as eco-tourism sites under the Sabah Development Corridor," Musa said in a statement.
He added that such a proposal would be in conflict with the SDC policy of sustainable growth via environmental conservation.
Tenaga Nasional Berhad would be asked to look for alternative sources of energy aside from coal.
"I know some say that today's technology will mean the proposed plant is safe and clean, but other experts disagree.
"After careful consideration, we just cannot take the risk. We need to look for more environmentally friendly sources of energy and location.
"We cannot trade off the environment for progress and deprive our future generation of Sabah's natural wonders," he said.
Source: New Straits Times (2008-04-03)