GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) can be implementing a number of projects under the Raw Water Contingency Plan 2030 (RWCP 2030), says its chief govt officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa.
He stated that to guarantee water provide safety for Penang, there can be 5 key RWCP 2030 projects commissioned from 2022 to 2028 to make sure that the PBAPP is in a position to meet the rising water demand till 2030.
“PBAPP plans to complete two upgrading projects at Penang’s award-winning Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant; build two new water treatment plants near the Mengkuang Dam and Sungai Muda and start tapping Sungai Perai as an additional raw water resource for Penang,” said Jaseni.
“These five projects are the key components of PBAPP’s RWCP 2030 and will yield 569 million litres a day (MLD), thus increasing the maximum design capacity from the current 1,599 MLD to 2,168 MLD,” he added in a press release on Monday (March 7).
Jaseni stated in 2021, Penang’s water consumption was 860 MLD and added that projections from an impartial water examine accomplished in 2021 point out that Penang’s water demand could also be pushed by socioeconomic components to enhance by 78.1% (672 MLD) and attain 1,532 MLD by 2030.
“As such, it will help to ensure that Penang has a healthy “reserve margin” and might keep away from a water disaster till 2030,” he stated.
On March 1, a Penang authorities delegation led by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow met with a Perak authorities delegation headed by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad to focus on the Sungai Perak Raw Water Transfer Scheme (SPRWTS).
Jaseni stated Chow tabled a conditional supply for Penang to purchase uncooked water from Perak throughout the assembly.
“Penang’s objective was to secure a deal for the SPRWTS, after which an official agreement could be signed later this year,” he said.
“An agreement would provide the necessary impetus for the Federal Government to commence works on the SPRWTS in 2023 (after detailed engineering studies are conducted) and commission the scheme to deliver raw water to Penang by 2030,” added Jaseni.
He added that at the meeting, the Perak delegation said that the state may not have excess raw water to sell to Penang.
“The meeting ended with both parties agreeing to wait for the outcome of the final report of the Environment and Water Ministry’s engineering study which is expected to be completed in April 2022,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Jaseni stated PBAPP has deliberate forward to assist Penang to overcome potential eventualities akin to this newest SPRWTS state of affairs.
“In 2019, PBAPP proposed the Penang Water Supply Initiative 2050 (PWSI 2050) to the state government as a water supply engineering roadmap to ensure water supply security for Penang until 2050,” said Jaseni.
He added that the PWSI 2050 has been revised several times to address scenarios wherein the SPRWTS is further delayed and/or cannot be implemented by 2030.
“In the face of these scenarios, PBAPP proposed the commissioning of desalination plants to meet Penang’s projected raw water demand,” he stated.
Looking forward, Jaseni stated the commissioning of desalination vegetation in Penang could also be applied in phases, starting from 2030.
“As an island state surrounded by the sea, Penang may utilise desalination technology (like Singapore) to theoretically tap an unlimited amount of raw water for the future,” said Jaseni.
“It should be borne in mind that the water supply is an essential public service that affects the daily lives of 1.776 million people in Penang, as well as the operations of thousands of businesses,” he added
On March 3, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man stated the Perak authorities’s resolution not to proceed supplying uncooked water to Penang was made under the state’s jurisdiction.
He stated this was as a result of water sources had been under the respective state governments, and Perak had supplied an evidence on the choice.
“Perak has to give priority to the needs of the state as it will have a population of three million by 2035,” he stated.