GEORGE TOWN, Oct 4 — Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang (PBAPP) will present the Sungai Muda Crisis Management Plan (SM-CMP) to the Penang government, to protect water users in the state.

PBAPP chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan said that the presentation involved a list of viable and cost-effective water supply engineering solutions, which will better protect Penang water consumers from the effects of the incident in Sungai Muda in Kedah, in the future.

“These solutions include solving problems in the 400 million litres per day (MLD) emergency discharge pipeline; raw water pre-treatment works; off-river storage facility or Takungan Air Pinggiran Sungai (TAPS); Sungai Dua balancing pond and upgrading works of the water treatment process,” he said in a statement here today.

Pathmanathan said that the SM-CMP plan was proposed following the feedback, complaints and dissatisfaction of the public, who were faced with frequent water supply disruption.


He said that PBAPP serves 676,857 consumers in Penang, and about 465,004 or (68.7 per cent) of them depend on treated water from the Sungai Dua water treatment plant (LRA), which treats raw water from Sungai Muda.

“Since July 2022, there have been three water crises in Penang... first Baling flood in July 2022; sudden drop in river water level in May 2023 and second Baling flood in September 2023. All 3 incidents involve Sungai Muda, Kedah.

“Without SM-CMP, the water supply in Penang is likely to be affected every time Sungai Muda incident occurs,” he said.


Meanwhile, Pathmanathan said that Phase 2B of the Mengkuang Dam Expansion Project (MDEP), which should have been completed this year, has been rescheduled to early January 2024, involving the installation of a 7km x 1.6m diameter pipeline from the Mak Sulong pump house, near the Expanded Mengkuang Dam (EMD), to the Sungai Dua canal.

“Currently, PBAPP can only release a maximum of 300 MLD from EMD and it is not enough. Sungai Dua LRA needs about 1,100 MLD of raw water daily to produce 1,000 MLD of treated water.

“Once Phase 2B is ready, the maximum production capacity will be increased to 600 MLD. If we add another 400 MLD emergency discharge pipeline (as proposed under SM-CMP), the total maximum production capacity will be 1,000 MLD — quite close to the 1,100 MLD that Sungai Dua LRA needs to operate optimally,” he said.

He also appealed to the federal government to expedite the completion of Phase 2B. — Bernama