Sarawak Energy: 97 per cent of rural households across Sarawak to get electricity coverage next year

Sharbini (left) presenting 'duit raya' to children from Rumah Amal Nur Murni.

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, May 22: About 97 per cent of rural homes across the state will enjoy 24-hour electricity next year, as Sarawak Energy looks to achieve 100 per cent coverage by 2025.

Its Group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili said domestic electricity coverage throughout Sarawak had reached 95 per cent, with 91 per cent rural households connected with 24-hour electricity.

To realise the state’s aspiration to extend electricity supply to the entire Sarawak population by 2025, Sarawak Energy is currently implementing the Accelerated Rural Electrification Masterplan driven by the Utilities Ministry.

“We aspire to have 97 per cent rural households connected with 24-hour electricity by 2020. At the same time, this will increase overall domestic electricity coverage in Sarawak to 99 per cent by 2020,” he said at Sarawak Energy’s breaking of fast event here yesterday.

As the sole energy provider in the state, Sharbini said Sarawak Energy currently had 680,000 customers. In terms of operations, renewable hydropower made up 75 per cent of its energy mix, complemented by coal and natural gas to ensure sufficient supply.

“This has enabled Sarawak Energy to offer the lowest unsubsidised tariff in Malaysia and among the most competitive in the Asean region,” he continued.

Touching on green energy initiatives, Sharbini said Sarawak Energy had been carrying out hydrogen fuel cell research as an alternative energy source for the state. It will launch its hydrogen production plant and refueling station next Monday (May 27).

In support of the state’s digital economy agenda, Sarawak Energy is expanding its ICT capabilities to improve service.

“We are carrying out a pilot project of installing 1,600 smart meters in Kampung Gita before expanding to the rest of Kuching this year. This ensures accurate reading without having to be on location or relying on estimation.

“Customers can also monitor their energy usage through SEB Cares Mobile app and receive the latest update on power restoration in the event of a disruption,” he explained.

Meanwhile, about 30 residents of Rumah Seri Kenangan (old folks home) and 56 children from Rumah Amal Nur Murni joined management and staff of Sarawak Energy at the “Majlis Berbuka Puasa” along with some 300 guests from the government and corporate sectors, the media and other stakeholders.

The gathering saw guests from the welfare homes receive new clothing, as well as “duit raya” in preparation for the upcoming festivity. Both welfare homes as well as several mosques and surau received donations.

“Sarawak Energy advocates inclusiveness, celebrates diversity and embraces the different cultures of our multidisciplinary workforce of about 5,000.

“We organise ‘Bersungkei Bersama Sarawak Energy’ annually to foster a closer working relationship with our stakeholders, while also giving back to the community. Gatherings such as this build on our relationships and fosters even closer rapport.”

Sharbini said similar events will be held in Miri and Lawas, being the final venue, over the coming weekends. — DayakDaily