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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Aug 26: The development of renewable hydropower in Sarawak has allowed Sarawakians to enjoy the lowest average unsubsidised tariffs in Malaysia and the region.
Apart from that, in Sarawak’s context, the hydropower sector has generated economic activities and growth by drawing investment involving energy-intensive industries into Sarawak.
Jobs were created to service these industries while at the same time, the renewable hydropower sector has brought about greater rural electrification and infrastructure development.
These were the four major advantages outlined by Utilities Ministry permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan Empaling in her presentation titled “Borneo Grid: Sarawak-Brunei-Sabah-Kalimantan” during BIMP-EAGA Conference and Exhibition (BECE) 2021 Webinar recently.
Currently, Sarawak has three hydroelectric power (HEP) dams, namely Bakun HEP (2,400MW), Murum HEP (944MW), and Batang Ai HEP (108MW).
The new 1,285MW Baleh HEP is expected to be completed in 2026.
Acknowledging the great benefits brought about by the energy sector, Jawan was also quick to admit the important of ensuring sustainable management of natural resources.
The Power and Energy Infrastructure Cluster (PEIC), she said, will strengthen cooperation and coordination among the EAGA stakeholders in managing energy resources, accelerating renewable energy development, promoting energy efficiency and conservation as well as ensuring energy supply security and sustainability in the subregion.
“The integration of the energy sector in BIMP EAGA sub region is to achieve the sustainable utilisation of energy among member states to derive the maximum mutual benefits for the people in BIMP-EAGA.
“This provided strategic directions in the identification and prioritisation of high impact flagship projects to facilitate project implementation and fast-track the sub-region’s goal of infrastructure and economic development and provide the conducive environment that would encourage private sector investments,” said Jawan. — DayakDaily