Borneo Grid: Sarawak in talks with Brunei, Sabah for potential interconnections

Abdul Hamed delivering his speech at the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) held at the Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching today.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 10: Sarawak Energy is now in talks with Brunei and Sabah for potential interconnections, taking it closer to establishing Sarawak as a regional powerhouse.

Sarawak Energy Chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi stressed that through the interconnected Borneo Grid, Sarawak would be able to supply energy to other parts of Borneo.

“Sarawak Energy is set to realise our aspirations as a regional powerhouse, leveraging on our strategic advantage of sustainable renewable, reliable and affordable hydropower,” Abdul Hamed said at the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) held at the Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching here today.

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He pointed out that the Borneo Grid was crucial for future energy security and reliability in the region.

“In pursuing renewable hydropower to drive Sarawak’s progress, we are also striving to incorporate sustainability into our projects so that there will always be a positive benefit.

“This is not to say that there are no challenges, or room for improvement because this is an ongoing process and a journey of development. The social corporate responsibilities (SCR) support for communities is long term and not one-off in nature,” he said, adding that Sarawak Energy has been engaging with the communities living near hydroelectric dams in Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun.

Among others, he said, Sarawak Energy has recorded continued improvement in accommodation, facilities, amenities, education, literacy, entrepreneurship, culture heritage and community living.

“In the development of the upcoming 1,285 MW Baleh HEP, Sarawak Energy has incorporated learning from the construction of Murum HEP on both technical and social aspects. So, I believe we will see even more improvements,” he said.

Abdul Hamed said, as member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), its hydropower projects were guided by the IHA’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

“We believe in continuously innovating in delivering our role as the primary energy [provider for Sarawak. With this innovative mind set, we aim to deliver an even greener mix for Sarawak and continue to be part of the solution I fighting climate change.

“In addition to reducing our carbon footprint through greening out generation mix, we are supporting the government efforts to decarbonise through research into Sarawak’s green energy agenda and its vision of an emission-free public transportation sector,” he said.

According to Abdul Hamed, Sarawak Energy projected that by 2030, 4 per cent of its output would incorporate more renewable energy such as large scale solar into its generation mix.

The two-day forum will be including presentations from renowned international speakers including Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations Development Programme Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, UN’s Industrial Development Organisation Regional Office programme officer Sooksiri Chmsuk, IHA chief executive officer Eddie Rich, Mckinsey & Co’s Partner and Co-Leader for Electric Power and Natural Gas Practice in South East Asia Antonio Castellano and World Bank Group’s Senior Energy Specialist Takafumi Kadono. —DayakDaily