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Ulu Jelai hydro-electric power station operation in 2015

Ulu Jelai hydro-electric power station operation in 2015

CAMERON HIGHLANDS March 1 — The Ulu Jelai hydro-electric power station, with the capacity to generate 372MW electricity during peak hours, will start operations in December 2015.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said the RM2.15 billion project entailed construction of two water diversion tunnels; Susu Dam; an underground power station; control room; and access road.

He said phase one of the project started in October last year while the second phase is expected to begin this month.

The water diversion tunnels, measuring 8.4km and 7.5km in length, would channel treated water by gravity force from Sungai Telom and Sungai Lemoi to the 124-hectare water catchment area, he said.

Water is expected to be collected at the area in October 2015, he said when speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the project by the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah, here today.

Present were the Sultanah of Pahang, Sultanah Kalsom, the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Noriah Kasnon and TNB Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh.

Moggie said three Orang Asli settlements — Kampung Susu, Kampung Giat and Kampung Pinang — have been relocated to a well-planned new settlement area with various modern facilities to make way for the massive power station project.

He said the relocation was inevitable as the Susu Dam was expected to submerge 124 hectares, encompassing the three settlements.

"At the planning stage of the project, TNB held discussions with the Orang Asli community there, the local authorities and government departments to explain to them about the project.

"This was because TNB was concerned, sensitive and took seriously the environmental issues at every stage of our planning, hence TNB conducted the environmental impact assessment study to ensure that the project conformed with the conditions and regulations stipulated by the government,” he said.

Moggie said TNB also gave compensation to the Orang Asli with regard to their crops and properties affected by the project.

Fourteen villages had to make way for the project, added the former cabinet minister.

Meanwhile, Che Khalib said the compensation given to the Orang Asli villagers was as high as RM100,000 based on the assessment by the Valuation and Property Services Department under the Finance Ministry.

"So far, TNB has paid out compensation totalling RM4 million. There are some who received as high as RM100,000,” he told reporters after the event.

On job prospects to the locals, especially the Orang Asli, Che Khalib said there were ample job opportunities for them as the project was implemented on

“People First” basis.

Che Khalib said he had spoken to the contractors to recruit as many locals as possible to work at the project site.