Uncle Awang, Aliey and Hilda did a very good job on summing up day two of the trip. I am very impressed with how detailed their entries are, I, as a
budding journalist, feel so ashamed of myself. Therefore, my entry will focus on our trips to RECODA, Sarawak Energy Coal Mine Power and Press Metal Sarawak. It was during the latter two visits that I couldn’t help feeling like an engineer. Teehee…
After breakfast, we were brought to RECODA HQ just behind Menara Pehin Setia Raja. It is an impressive building but a bit empty (You will find out why soon). With the rapid development brought on by SCORE, undeniably, the building will be bustling with activities sooner or later.
RECODA HQ as seen from the top level of Menara Pehin Setia Raja
RECODA. I am sure this name is pretty much alien to most of us. Overshadowed by the super huge SCORE projects, the 11-people-powered (Big success always begins with a small step!) RECODA or acronym for Regional Corridor Development Authority, is responsible in making SCORE a reality. It is the force that drives the development, implementations and achievements of SCORE.
Centre: Datuk Wilson Baya Dandot, CEO of RECODA
Right: Kamil Daniel Yap, Chief Investment Officer of RECODA
To be honest, before the very informative and insightful briefing by the CEO of RECODA, Datuk Wilson Baya Dandot and Chief Investment Officer Kamil Daniel Yap, I was quite an ignorant girl. I always thought that these projects are all about the money. Of course money is important but there are more than just money when it comes to SCORE. (I should have focused more in Economics class but frankly, not my cup of tea, luckily the presentation by RECODA managed to capture my attention.
It is about utilizing our vast natural resources for socio-economic growth. I will explain the concept in the following super simple flow chart:
Increased job opportunities from SCORE = More schools, colleges, universities, Human Resource Developtment Institution, R&D centres etc = More people moving to Mukah to look for job opportunities = More infrastructures to accomodate the growing population = Opportunities for other industries to grow
Bear in mind that SCORE is not just about dams and more dams. In fact, they are 8 key components of SCORE that RECODA aims to cultivate:
- PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
- TARGETED INDUSTRIES
- NEW GROWTH NODES
- HALAL HUB/INDUSTRIES
- PULP/PAPER INDUSTRIES
Thank you RECODA for the well-prepared briefing. For more information on RECODA or SCORE, click here.
Next stop is Sarawak Energy Bhd Mukah Power Generation just half an hour drive away from RECODA HQ. I’ve heard so many things about a coal generated power plant and well, honestly, the picture painted in mind was not a pretty one.
Surprisingly, the moment we arrived, the place does not look that scary after all. The perfect word to describe it is industrial. For a coal powered energy plant, it sure does look clean.
Look ma, no dirty smoke coming from power plant!
Closer view of the power plant
Sarawak Energy Bhd Mukah HQ
Before the site visit, we were briefed by one of Sarawak Energy Bhd engineer under Performance and Condition Monitoring, Norul Jimat.
Today was a day full of lecturers, reminded me a lot of the uni days…
Interesting fact 1: Did you know that they are only two coal powered plants in Sarawak? One in Sejingkat, Kuching and the other, here in Mukah. There is a proposal of having a third coal powered plant in Balingian in the near future.
Interesting fact 2: Due to the advancement of technology, the latest coal powered plant is more environmentally friendly. If you refer to the above photo, coal is used to fire up the steamer. The polluted smoke will then be cleaned and filtered before released into the environment.
Interesting fact 3: Sarawak Energy Berhad saves a lot of money by having a coal reserve in Balingian (No need to import) and the coal ash from the power plant is sold to developers to use in producing cement.
Interesting fact 4: As for specialized workers, they are currently three foreign engineers while the rest are locals whom before starting their career here, were sent for training in China. Therefore, this power plant does not only is beneficial to the state’s economy but helps to improve the livelihood of the locals.
Interesting fact 5: The Mukah coal powered plant helps to jumpstart some of the industries in the area, for example, Press Metal Sarawak Sdn Bhd in which we will visit later.
After the safety briefing and retrieval of safety gears, the site visit began. I was nervous because I thought we would go into the power plant itself but luckily, nothing that extreme.
Yu Ji and I
Journalists at work
To cool the super hot water from the boiler… Sure is complex!
I thought to myself, why did they give us the mask. My question was answered when I saw this sight. I respect the engineers working here, working environment is tough! I thought being a journalist is tough. Spoiled brat.
“You guys can’t pass as engineers. Inappropriate attires!” Said my engineer friend when he saw this photos of us pretending to be engineers… Hahaha. (Photo credits: Hilda)
Before proceeding to Press Metal Sarawak Bhd, we were served lunch by the lovely staff of Sarawak Energy Bhd Mukah HQ.
So sorry for the simple photo, was tooooo hungry to do a detailed shoot. Hahaha.
All I can say is… I had midin belacan overdose when I was in Mukah. Hehehe. Next visit, Press Metal Sarawak.
What is Press Metal Sarawak? I’ve heard of Heavy Metal but not Press Metal Sarawak or in short, PMS. I couldn’t help giggling every time someone mentions PMS. It has a totally different meaning to me. Hehehe. In layman’s term: They press the metal alumina to aluminum. Hehehe.
Press Metal Sarawak Sdn Bhd 1.2km long smelting plant
A little background story: Press Metal Sarawak is owned by Selangor-based Press Metal Bhd, (80%) and Sumitomo Corp (20%), a company based in Japan. PMS is the FIRST primary aluminium smelting plant in Malaysia, located in Mukah, Sarawak. It is a plant that coverts Raw Material Alumina into Al Metal. PMS commenced production in Aug 2009 with an annual aluminium smelting capacity of 120,000 tons per annum. They produce primary alumimium ingots and billets for domestic and international markets.
Some of the end products at PMS
Aluminium fixtures that you often see around you are also produced here.
After the excellent briefing by Technical and Development Manager, Dr Siew Eng Fui, it was time for the site visit. (If you want more info on Press Metal Bhd, do click here). Again, we had to wear safety helmet and advised not to bring analogue watch and any liquid.
Interesting fact 1: The smelting area is super hot (Over 900 degrees Celsius, especially at the oven), any form of liquid could turn into steam quickly. And if the water is in a bottle, it could explode.
Interesting fact 2: The smelting area has a very strong magnetic wave, it could tamper with the analogue watch and disrupt any electronic devices. Pregnant ladies are advised not to go here (Not that they are any pregnant ladies in our group)
Enjoy the photo tours!
The smelting pot/ovens. Looks like something from a Sci-Fi flick!
The Amazing Dr Siew at work, answering all the questions from the media, even if it’s 900 degrees behind him.
I am not entirely sure what this is (Was so awed by the alien like smelting plant, couldn’t focus on what Dr Siew said), but I think it is raw alumina. MAYBE. Someone please confirm this.
Leftover aluminium for sale if anyone is interested.
At the end of the day, just after showering, I realized how red my body became. Life is tough as an engineer, even if it is only for a day. Hehehe. Thank you Jabatan Penerangan Sarawak, Sarawak Bloggers, RECODA, Sarawak Energy and Press Metal Sarawak for giving me the opportunity to be a pretend engineer. I gained so much knowledge on this trip and I think Mukah will be the new destination where industry meets education. The site visits are so educational and inspiring.
That’s the end of today’s entry, stay tune for the next installment where we will focus on Mukah’s tourism!