Sarawak Energy Signs Agreement With UNIMAS For Research Collaboration

Kuching, 1st October 2013: Sarawak Energy, the State’s energy provider, today signed an agreement with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) to enter a research-collaboration in the aspect of environmental sustainability of hydropower development. This is part of Sarawak Energy’s "Hydropower Environmental Sustainability Program" that emphasizes our dedication to address any potential environmental concerns with regard to all stages of a hydropower project life cycle, from planning to implementation. Reason being, Sarawak Energy is committed to follow internationally accredited sustainability principle that covers economic, technical, social and environmental aspects of a project.

Phase 1 of this Hydropower Environmental Sustainability Program aims to develop local research capability and capacity within Sarawak on related environmental topics; and to prioritize on collection of necessary data in forming baseline knowledge.  Hence, by doing these, it enables us to effectively identify pertinent environmental issues that warrant close attention.

The signing event marks a new beginning in research collaboration in the State of Sarawak, where Sarawak Energy, as the project proponent of hydropower development is set to work together with UNIMAS in raising the standards in environmental management.  Sarawak Energy is pleased to roll-out the 3-year baseline study on two aspects of environmental sustainability particularly in the areas of "Aquatic Ecology & Biodiversity" and "Terrestrial Ecology & Biodiversity".

The scope of study for Aquatic Ecology & Biodiversity covers an analysis on species of fish and other organisms that are dependent on each other, and on the environment that they live in. The study of Terrestrial Ecology & Biodiversity on the other hand focuses on identifying the abundance and distribution of birds and bats; reptiles and amphibians; and land animals and other species.

Sarawak Energy will also collaborate with more universities to cover these sustainability topics as well as Geomorphology (the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them) to nurture more research activities and expand the knowledge base of both Sarawak Energy and its partners, through the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring program in these sustainability topics.

These studies allow Sarawak Energy to capture the existing conditions prior to project development and track changes, providing better information on the cause and effect of these changes to the environment.

Signing on behalf of UNIMAS were YBhg Prof Dato' Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi (Vice-Chancellor, UNIMAS), YBhg Prof. Peter Songan (Deputy Vice Chancellor [Research & Innovation], UNIMAS) and YBhg Associate Professor Dr Mohd Hasnain Md Hussain (Dean, Faculty of Resource, Science and Technology, UNIMAS). Signing on behalf of Sarawak Energy were Puan Aisah Eden (Chief of Corporate Services) and Dr Chen Shiun (General Manager Research & Development). YBhg Dato' Dr Hatta bin Solhi (Chairman, UNIMAS Board of Directors) was present to witness the signing ceremony.

Prof Dato' Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi, said, “As an institution of higher learning with expertise in these areas, it is in the university's best interest to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the aquatic ecology and biodiversity, terrestrial ecology and biodiversity, as well as water quality in our State. This collaborative research will attain to these goals and is in line with Sarawak Energy's aims for environmental sustainability."

Puan Aisah Eden said “We are delighted to work together with the prestigious UNIMAS, and with this partnership we are confident we can build our capacity to gather new information towards the goal of environmental sustainability. This signing is part of Sarawak Energy’s overall Sustainability Agenda that defines our commitment on improving energy generation for the State and the people through renewable and sustainable resources.”

In 2011, Sarawak Energy became a Sustainability Partner of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and has since embarked on an ambitious journey towards sustainability by also adhering to IHA’s Sustainability Protocol.  Today’s event is another milestone that shows the dedication of Sarawak Energy in complying with international standards for hydropower development.

From left: YBhg Associate Prof Dr Mohd Hasnain Md Hussain, YBhg Prof Peter Songan, YBhg Dato' Dr Mohamad Kadim bin Suaidi, Puan Aisah Eden, Dr Chen Shiun. Observing from behind between Dato' Dr Kadim and Puan Aisah are YBhg Dato' Dr Hatta bin Solhi (in light brown jacket) and on his left is Mr Lu Yew Hung (Chief Operating Officer, Sarawak Energy)