Friday, July 20, 2012

Kembara Media 1M Trip; Day 2

Hello! Ready for Day 2 of my Kembara Media 1M Trip to Mukah? Day 2 was definitely the most hectic day throughout the trip, basically a media-briefing-filled day, 4 to be exact at four different places as well. It would be long post ahead, don't say I didn't warn you.
The itinerary of Day 2:
  • Breakfast
  • 1st media briefing with RECODA
  • 2nd media briefing/site visiting @ Sarawak Energy Berhad (Coal Mine Power Plant)
  • Lunch
  • 3rd media briefing/site visitng @ Press Metal Bhd, Mukah
  • 4th media briefing @ Dalat District Office
  • Dinner 
When it comes to staying in a hotel, you'll be extra excited about the breakfast, no? I woke up around 6.45am, got ready and made my way to Seri Setia Cafe which is located at the ground floor of the hotel, easily spotted from the entrance of the hotel. Remember, don't forget your breakfast voucher!  :P
This is how the buffet breakfast looks like. They even have salad bar, fruits, congee, cereal and the bread counter. Juices and hot beverages are available as well.
Photo courtesy of Aliey (: 

My not-so-healthy-breakfast and oh, how can I not have cereal! :D

After the satisfying breakfast, off we go to Pusat Pentadbiran Baru Mukah for our first media briefing with RECODA (Regional Corridor Development Authority) which is the highlight of the whole trip. 
To simplify it, RECODA was established through an act in 2006, is an organisation that is responsible to manage and promote SCORE. It is under the Sarawak government and acts as a coordinating body between state and federal governments, domestic and foreign investors. It is also responsible for SCORE to plan for the development and to implement the plans and projects for the development of SCORE — source. More about RECODA, click HERE
Mr. Francis Bunchol kicked start the briefing with a short speech and  introduced us one by one. 
Middle: YB Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot, CEO of RECODA 
Right: Mr Kamil Daniel Yap, Chief Investment Officer of RECODA

YB Datuk Amar Wilson prepared a detailed presentation specially for us just so we get a clearer view and a better understanding of about SCORE, as you can see in the photo above. 
After the briefing, I managed to stroll around and took a few shots outside the office;

Something different about the clouds that day, I like (: 
It's a really huge and nice building, but somehow it is still vacant. 
At 10am sharp, we headed to Sarawak Energy Berhad, which is actually a Coal Mine Power Plant that took us about half an hour to reach by bus. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by a few staff of MPG.
Wooohoo, we are here! 

The main entrance. 

We were then brought to the conference room located at the 3rd floor for the media briefing. 

The briefing was done by Mr Norul Bin Mat, the Engineer (in Performance & Condition Monitoring) of MPG. 

MPG was set up in 2009 at a cost of RM900 million yet the station is estimated to have a lifespan of only 25 years. They received their supply of coal from Mukah itself, unlike T&B that uses coal shipped in from overseas. The Mukah/Balingian region has an inferred coal reserve of 550 million tonnes, with 100 million tonnes being economically mineable — BERNAMA  If Mukah runs out of coal in the future, this station will be closed down as well. Little did we know that the coal's ash, by product of the burnt coal can be used for a better cause in preventing pollution and thus saving the cost or time of disposing it. The coal ash is added to the concrete mix in the construction of the hydro electric Murum Dam in Sungai Rajang as it is stated that the coal ash has the property of strengthening the concrete. You can read the full report by Bernama and NST
Before proceeding to site visiting, we were given a mandatory safety briefing by a safety officer *listen attentively* 
We were provided with a safety helmet, ear plugs and a N95 mask. 

A group shot of us, female bloggers! :D
Me, Effa from and Aliey from
Now you know why I can't be an engineer, cause I look weird in a safety helmet HAHA jk! 
Bit and pieces of the coal-fired power station. 
Complex water tank on the opposite of the power station. 

Media at work *snap snap snap*

Millions tons of unprocessed coal under this huge silo, before being grind into fine powder.

So this is how raw coal looks like, like charcoal! :P 

After the site visiting, we had our scrumptious prepared by MPG (: 

We departed earlier than the scheduled time to the our next destination; Press Metal Sarawak Sdn Bhd! 
Their tagline, "Aluminium, Metal for the future". 
Various types of extruded aluminium, ingots and billets for display. 

3rd media briefing about PMS (No, not premenstrual syndrome HAHA but Press Metal Sarawak)

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. PMS is 20% owned by Sumitomo and 80% by Press Metal Sdn Bhd. Just so you now, Press Metal Sdn Bhd is one of the largest extruder in South East Asia. To name a few, KLIA, Putrajaya, KLCC and even Al Bidda tower in Qatar used aluminium manufactured by Press Metal Sdn Bhd for their construction. Their aluminium is used in IKEA products as well. 

Media briefing given by Technical and Development manager, Dr Siew Eng Fui. I must say that the presentation is precised with a lot of interesting facts and it's easy to understand. Again, we were given safety briefing before going for site visiting. No water bottles and electronic devices are allowed, so we left our belongings in the locker provided. 
Back view of the 1.2km long smelting plant from the control room building. 

This is the control room where the whole plant is being monitored in a digital manner. 

From the view of a computer monitor, complicated much huh? 
The humongous control board. 

Next, we headed to the smelting plant where the pots are at. 

These are the aluminium reduction pots that produced molten aluminium metal. Each pot operates at 900ºC and no, you don't want to go near or even touch it. 

Each pot is able to produce 320 tons of aluminium metal a day.

PMS has a total of 300 pots that fits in 2 rows of 1.2km long smelting plant, go figure. 
Stacks of ready made billets outside the cast house. 

This is the enormous cast house where billets are being cut and stacked as well as the storage of raw material. 

I had the chance to witness billet cutting in process. 

This is how billet looks like before it's being cut on the edge. 
This, my friend, are fine, freshly cut billets out from the 'oven'. 

Workers checking on the cooled billets during casting operation. 
Again spotted, media from TV3 at work :D 

After the site visiting, we had tea break along with a short Q&A session with the media, without realising the whole visit to PMS took more than the allocated time. We left around 4pm and move on to the last and final briefing in Pekan Dalat that need another hour to reach, ended up we were two hours behind schedule. 
At 6-ish, we finally reached Dalat District Office and were surprised to be welcomed by this group of dancers that have been waiting for us since 1pm, our bad T__T
Legend of Sri Mona from Kg Tanam Dalat that welcomed us with a Sarawak Etnic dance. 

Here's the video of the dance that I've recorded; bear with my shaky hands though :s

Graceful and meek dancers, they are the champion in the Pesta Kaul parade this year.  

I bet most of you who must have read the short story of How Dalat Got its Name back in high school? :D 

On March 1, 2002, Dalat has been placed under the administration Mukah Division covering an area of ​​905.29 sq km with 25 villages and 22 longhouses. Dalat has a population of 19062 people, made up of Melanau, Iban, Chinese and several other ethnic groups. Dalat District Administration is under the jurisdiction of Dalat District Office headed by the District Officer and assisted by several staff. 

In addition, Dalat is more known as the agriculture district as it is famous for cultivation of Pokok rumbia (Sago Tree), Nanas pada/sawit (Palm Pineapple) as well as the largest producer of lemantak flour and Most of the local population are also involved in agriculture, poultry, farming, fishing, manufacturing industry and also government services. On the other hand, the females villagers are involved in small self own business selling sago grains, fish crackers and local delicacies and snacks.

The media briefing was given by Mr. Zarni Bin Haji Rapaiee, Administrative Officer of Dalat District Office, representing Dalat District Officer who couldn't make it that day. 

Before we left, Mr Francis Bunchol handing over the momento to Mr. Zarni.

By the time we finished the briefing, it was already 7pm and the sky was pitch-dark, so we didn't get the chance to stroll around and take photos by the Dalat riverbank. Plus, it was raining. We even had to postponed our dinner cause it will take another 45 minutes to reach our hotel. At 8.30pm, we headed to Riverside Seafood Restaurant for our dinner hosted by Parti PBB, Mukah. This single storey kampung house cum restaurant is located along the Mukah River, just a few mins drive from the town centre. The place is decorated with local art and crafts to give the restaurant a more 'Sarawak-homey' feel. Some of the tables are covered using kain sarung, how creative! 

Five tables in total to accommodate all of us. 

Clockwise: Umai (Raw fish), Sea cucumber soup, Sweet and sour fish, Butter Prawn, and Steamed Tofu. 

Left from top to botton:  Steamed promfrets, midin with belacan and stir fried baby kailan.
The fish are undeniably fresh *two thumbs up* and overall the dinner was pretty delish I would say cause the dishes are sort of cooked in Chinese style. After a long day and satisfying dinner, everyone tends to get sleepy right away so we didn't stay long, went back to our hotel around 9-ish. 

It's defintiely my first time having dinner by the river, luckily there was not a single bite of mosquitoes that night! :P I wonder how does it look like during daylight, nice scenery perhaps? 

Woohoo time to crash in! *snore*
And.. that brings my 2nd day post to an end, like finally. I hope you're not bored yet cause 3rd day (the day which I anticipated the most) post awaits with more photos :D To be continued...



Small Kucing said...

Well done Hilda.

Very good post.

I love the photo you took of the sky

Coffee Girl said...

Nice post! I feel like I was in Mukah again... sigh. love the place.

Ken Wooi said...

Know what, I think it's so cool to be able to enter the power station! I've worked for an energy client, but didn't get to explore the inner workings of the business! Pfftt! :P

Charmaine Pua said...

Teehee... the YB looked like sleeping!
I've previously went into TNB Manjung Power Station before. A nice experience :)

cyrildason said...

I wish I could go... *sigh*

But on top of that, I bet you had fun. I've never been to a coal or aluminium plant before, so this s really something not everyone can experience. God for you!

BTW, amazing coverage!

SiMon Har said...

wow... something like factory visit! HUGE factory btw!

:: - LoLLy - :: said...

I wish I can try the Midin in one day. Too bad it was sold out in my Miri trip. =X