Sarawak Energy CEO Reiterates The Importance Of Hydropower In Socio-Economic Prosperity For The State At World Congress

Daegu, Korea, 16 October 2013: Speaking at the World Energy Congress 2013 in Daegu, Korea, the world’s premier energy event with this year’s theme of “Securing Tomorrow’s Energy Today”, Sarawak Energy CEO, Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit, reiterates the need for hydropower projects in Sarawak and how it will play a crucial role in harnessing the State’s renewable energy potential and drive Sarawak into socio-economic prosperity.

Yesterday, Datuk Torstein was speaking alongside speakers from International Hydropower Association (IHA), RussHydro Russia, World Energy Resources Italy and UNESCAP at the 22nd World Energy Congress happening in Daegu, Korea from 13 to 17 October 2013.  The Congress is a premier energy event that encompasses all industry sectors from fossil fuels to nuclear power and renewable.  The congress has an unsurpassed reputation for being a platform for governments, businesses and experts from around the globe to debate on important energy issues in meeting the need of both producers and consumers.

In his presentation, Torstein said “The full development of hydropower offers many opportunities to raise the standard of living in developing countries like Sarawak, Malaysia. 50% of Sarawak’s population is under 25 years old and our young people are enthusiastic consumers of education and training and this amplifies the need to create skilled jobs and new economic opportunities for the community. Sarawak possesses a genuine and sustainable competitive advantage in bulk hydropower, given Sarawak’s volume of rainfall and elevated topography. Sarawak is also strategically located in the centre of the ASEAN region, half way between China and India that makes it a compelling investment destination.”

“One of the main risks or challenges to this potential is the introduction of unrealistic and inappropriate concepts of sustainability from Western countries. By this I mean that the developing world should not be expected to meet standards which were never applied to the western world, especially if these standards are seriously delaying development or an economic burden that project simply are not realized. To give an example on this, Sarawak is challenged to stop development of Hydro power because we are reducing the rainforest and by that contributing negative to the CO2 balance of the world.”

“Factually, about 80% of Sarawak is forested and only about 2% of Sarawak's rainforest will be inundated if we were to develop all the 10-12 dams that are currently being studied. In addition, more than 70% of the accumulated human created CO2 came from the developed nations and it is unfair that the developed world were to ask the developing countries to stop their economic development to fix a problem created by the 1 billion richest people of the developed world. With the right balance, the full development of the world’s hydropower potential offers a wonderful source of renewable power to lift the standard of living across the developing world.”

Sarawak Energy will soon complete the 3rd major hydropower project in the State, which will lift the installed capacity of hydropower to around 3500 MW. A further ten hydropower projects are at various stages of feasibility or pre-engineering which generate a collective output of 30 terawatt hours of additional energy. The development of these projects will only commence after Sarawak Energy has completed the necessary social and environmental impact assessments.

The objective of SCORE is to harness Sarawak’s sustainable strategic advantage in the production of bulk electricity at globally competitive prices to attract investment to the State. In turn, this massive investment generates new employment in semi-skilled and skilled occupations, which provide the opportunity for the people of Sarawak to achieve a higher income and better standard of living.

Sarawak Energy’s projections indicate that by the middle of the next decade, residential, retail and commercial customers in Sarawak will require 2,000 MW while SCORE customers will consume at least 6,000 MW. The State’s GDP is expected to expand 5-fold by 2030, with approximately 1.6million jobs to be created when SCORE is fully operational.