The IPP Project at Melawa, which is an extension to SESB's Melawa Power Station, was awarded to ARL Power Sdn Bhd by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister's Department on 13th September 1993. Subsequently on 14th June 1994, Jabatan Bekalan Elektrik & Gas 94 (JBE&G) awarded ARL Power Sdn Bhd the License, pursuant to Article 9 of the Electricity Supply Act 1990, to own, operate and maintain the Power Plant and supply energy to Lembaga Letrik Sabah (now SESB)upon signing of the 21 years Power Purchase Agreement with Lembaga Letrik Sabah (now SESB).
On 1 July 1994, ARL Power Sdn Bhd contracted a consortium comprising Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) and Hyundai Engineering Corporation (collectively HHI/HEC) to undertake the engineering design, procurement and construction of the Melawa Plant. Work commenced at site on 24 September 1994. The Plant was completed in two blocks. Commercial operations were declared on 31 October 1995. The second block comprising of 3 units DEGs was declared on 25 April 1996.
The Plant is also equipped with a high level automation. All starting, stopping, monitoring and controlling processes are performed via the Distributed Control System ("DCS") installed in the Control Room. The DCS permits numerous operations to be performed via a simple mouse click at the graphics user interface. Nevertheless a manual backup system is still available, in the unlikely event that the DCS suffers a breakdown.
ARL Power Sdn Bhd has appointed ARL Janakuasa Letrik Sdn Bhd (ARLJL) as the O&M contractor for the Plant. ARLJL is a 100% owned subsidiary of ARL Global Sdn Bhd and has staff strength of 41 managers, engineers and mechanical and electrical technicians, both native Sabahans as well as from Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, ARL Power Sdn Bhd retained HHI as an O&M Consultant, to facilitate ARLJL's development as a competent, effective and efficient O&M contractor. HHI's term expired on 31 October 2000.
Being a dispatchable Plant, the facility at ARL Power Sdn Bhd is practically at their disposal, always on standby, to deliver energy whenever called upon, in accordance with Prudent Utility Practices.