Negri may have nation’s first independent water producer

PORT DICKSON: Malaysia may have its first “independent water producer” (IWP) in Negri Sembilan, as the state government is considering this option to build a new plant to provide treated water to the proposed 43,000ha Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV) project.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said his administration was proposing to privatise the construction of the Ngoi-ngoi 2 treatment plant to ensure that it could be carried out immediately.

“The proposed MVV is going to be a massive project and we are going to need a lot more treated water very soon.

“We can’t afford to wait as we do not wish to face a big headache later," he said, adding that the IWP concept would be similar to the independent power producer which sells electricity to Tenaga Nasional.

Mohamad said his administration may apply for a grant or a loan from the Federal Government to construct Ngoi-ngoi 2.

“The present Ngoi-ngoi plant can only supply water to existing and new consumers in Seremban and parts of Nilai until 2020.

“Since it takes at least three years to build a new plant, we have to start work soon,” he said.

The Ngoi-ngoi 2, estimated to cost some RM350mil, will be able to produce some 400 million litres of water a day.

“This is also three times the capacity of the present plant,” said Mohamad, adding that the sprawling MVV project was expected to take some 30 years to complete.

He said his administration would buy treated water from the IWP once it was commissioned.

“The owner will be allowed to operate the facility for a certain number of years and we will take over once the contract expires,” he said, adding that his administration would hold talks with Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd and the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry before finalising this.

Asked if consumers would have to pay more once the project was completed, Mohamad said this had not been decided.

“However, the tariffs may be higher for commercial and industrial use,” he said.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said residents in Tampin and Rembau districts will no longer be subjected to water rationing.

“We have built a new pipeline from the Sawah Raja treatment plant in Rembau to Bukit Tampin, which can supply an additional 20 million litres of treated water to the two districts.

“The laying of pipes from the Sg Jelai plant in Kuala Pilah to Gemencheh has also been completed and we can now divert another 1.8 million litres of treated water to both the districts,” he said, adding that the water problem in both districts should be completely resolved by mid-June. - The Star
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