GEORGE TOWN: Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP) is seeking the commissioning of the Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme (SPRWTS) by 2025.
Its chief executive officer, Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa (pix) said today that the SPRWTS was urgently needed as Sungai Muda, the primary raw water resource for Kedah and Penang might only be reliable to meet the raw water needs in the two states up to that year.
“This finding was stated in the independent ‘Masterplan Study for Potable Water Supply in Penang until Year 2050’ that was commissioned by PBAPP in 2009. Accordingly, the study proposed the implementation of the SPRWTS to tap a second major raw water resource for Penang,” he said in a statement.
According to him, in 2018, PBAPP produced 1,073 million litres a day (MLD) of treated water by abstracting raw water from Sungai Muda and other smaller raw water sources in Penang.
“Looking ahead, Penang’s water demand is projected to reach 1,483 MLD by 2030, 1,696 MLD by 2040 and 1,884 MLD by 2050. It is not possible for PBAPP to abstract sufficient raw water from Sungai Muda to address such future water demand,” he said.
Jaseni, who is also PBA Holdings Bhd chief executive officer, said since 2011, the Penang state government and PBAPP had been pursuing the implementation of the SPRWTS, not only for the benefit of Penang but north Perak as well.
He said the recent announcement by Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng that the ministry’s Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS) would carry out a detailed assessment of the project was long-awaited after the project failed to take off since the last seven years.
“Sungai Perak is a relatively under-utilised NCER raw water resource, and the SPRWTS has the potential to ensure water supply sustainability in Perak and Penang until 2050,” he said.
Penang needs the SPRWTS to ensure that it has sufficient water to realise its Vision 2030 aspirations of becoming a “family-focused green and smart state that inspires the nation”.
“When it is implemented, the SPRWTS will also mitigate Penang’s risk of water crises in this age of climate change when the duration and intensity of dry weather spells are becoming more unpredictable,” Jaseni said. — Bernama