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Sarawak to sell green energy to Singapore in exchange for data center investments

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(Photo: iStock)

Malaysia’s Sarawak state government is proposing to sell excess green energy to Singapore, and in return, Singapore will invest in data center projects, according to the state’s premier, Abang Johari Openg.

"Singapore's problem is that it has no energy and space, but Sarawak has both. So we can work together, and Singapore can help us to bring in investments that need power into Sarawak. We will just supply the power. That undersea cable the Singaporean will do it," he said in a press conference on Jan. 30.

The premier said that the proposed undersea power cable for this exchange is expected to be completed by 2032. Consequently, Sarawak can export up to 1GW of renewable energy.

He said both prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore have agreed on the concept of the arrangement.

According to data from Sarawak’s Public Communications Unit data, the undersea cable will be direct from nearby Kuching, Sarawak, to Singapore’s Changi, spanning 720 km.

Notably, 80% of the cable will pass through the Muri–Midai corridor, which belongs to Indonesia.

It was reported in 2023 that Sarawak has an energy generation capacity of 5.75 GW, compared to a demand of 4.27 GW. The supply capacity is targeted to increase to 9.5 GW by 2032.

Abang Johari also emphasized the transition in Sarawak’s focus on hydropower generation from the current model of large-scale dams, and to focus on run-of-river designs instead.

Sarawak is home to the Bakun Dam, one of Asia’s largest reservoir dams, covering an area of 700 sq km with a hydropower generation capacity of 2.4 GW.

Aside from that, Sarawak, like other states in Malaysia, is exploring solar generation installations, Abang Johari said, and together with Petronas, is also considering hydrogen as an energy source.

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