PAPAR, Aug 25 — A RM4 billion hydroelectric dam will be built at Ulu Padas, Tenom as a long-term solution to the state’s perennial water shortage, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor today.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the dam is set in October while construction is expected to be completed in 2027, he said. Once fully operational, it is expected to have a capacity of 6,000 million litres daily (MLD).

“It is a joint-venture project between the State Government through Sabah Energy Corporation and the private sector,” said Hajiji after launching phase II of the Kogopon Water Treatment Plant project here.

He also said that the controversial Kaiduan dam is still on the cards.

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“The state government is also currently conducting a feasibility study on the Papar or Kaiduan Dam as another long-term solution to the water shortage problem and to cater for the needs of investors,” he said.

On the water supply problem in Tuaran up to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Hajiji said it is expected to be resolved by the end of this year once teething issues affecting the Telibong water treatment plant II project are addressed.

Hajiji also said that the Kogopon Water Treatment Plant will undergo RM379 million upgrading works under its Phase II development to boost production capacity to 80 million litres daily (MLD) benefiting some 160,000 consumers in Putatan, Kinarut, Lok Kawi and the vicinity.

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He said the project will increase water supply coverage to cater for industrial demands, particularly the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) and the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP) under the Sabah Development Corridor up to 2040.

The Kogopon Water Treatment Plant presently has a production capacity of 40MLD and the upgrading project would increase production by another 40MLD.

Among the project scopes were the construction of a new treatment plant (40 MLD capacity), Balancing Reservoir with a capacity of 10 million litres, three distribution tanks in Kimanis, Kampung Nagapas (Papar) and Kampung Ketiau (Putatan) and an upgrading of the water intake.

The state, including the state capital, has been facing water supply disruptions for months now with some areas requiring water supply to be sent via vehicles. Industrial areas, hospitals, airports and commercial businesses have not been spared.

The government has blamed it on poor or ageing infrastructure and lack of resources.