Sarawak Energy's Briefing On Baleh HEP Garners High Participation

The energy development corporation shares opportunities brought about by the Baleh HEP

KAPIT, 8th DECEMBER 2016, THURSDAY:  Sarawak Energy’s key stakeholders in Baleh and Kapit now have a clearer understanding on the opportunities and socio-economic benefits that will be brought about by the construction of the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) following a recent briefing conducted by the energy development group. 

About 120 people comprising local contractors, entrepreneurs, community and association leaders and villagers from Baleh and Kapit attended the briefing at the Resident and District Office here. The briefing is part of the corporation’s initiative to ensure informed proactive consultation and engagements particularly with those who will be indirectly affected by the Baleh HEP. The intention is also to encourage local participation. There will be no resettlement of communities needed for the dam’s construction.   

As Sarawak Energy subscribes to the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol of the International Hydropower Association, the corporation is committed to carrying out regular stakeholder engagement on the principle of free, prior and informed consultation to allow communities the right to give their opinion and voice their grievances on proposed projects that may affect them. 

The briefing was conducted by Jiwari Abdullah, Sarawak Energy Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Ir Tan Chuan Ngan, Baleh HEP Project Director, supported by Stell Sindau, Community Relations Advisor and Sarawak Energy’s CSR and project team. Also present at the briefing were Galong Luang, Kapit Division Deputy Resident and Temenggong Tan Kian Hoo.

The briefing featured updates on the progress of Baleh HEP and the available scope of works under local content for contractors and entrepreneurs in Baleh and Kapit. The construction of Baleh HEP will create business opportunities that can be potentially tapped by the locals and about 3,500 jobs of various skill grades during the implementation of the project. 

These opportunities are in the form of infrastructure/facility construction like operators’ village, civil works, maintenance, transmission and distribution works and biomass removal as well as the supply of goods and services.

To ensure local youth are ready for employment opportunities, Sarawak Energy has also begun providing skills training this year for them at local training institutions like Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara and Institut Latihan Perindustrian.  Within the next two years, Sarawak Energy is expected to support the training of around 500 youths from Baleh. 

The skills training will be on welding, scaffolding, rigging/slinging/working at heights, blasting and coating, safety, handling heavy vehicles and machineries like bulldozers, excavators, rollers and also courses on electrical, mechanical, administration, human resources and entrepreneurship. These courses have been identified as relevant to the project from its implementation stage till completion.

Commenting on the skills training, Jiwari said; “As a responsible project implementor, Sarawak Energy is committed to working closely with the community of Baleh for the successful implementation of the Baleh HEP which is bound to trigger economic opportunities for the people here and also for Sarawakians all over. 

“At this initial stage of the project alone, we have already started preparing the community especially the young people to enable them to take up the jobs following the construction of Baleh HEP by equipping them with the needed skills and knowledge,” he said.

The ‘Baleh HEP: Skill Training for Baleh Youth’, aligned with Sarawak Energy’s CSR community investment focus area on education and young people, will see the youth being absorbed into internship programmes after training and also undergo coaching on soft skills to prepare them for the job market.

The briefing garnered good participation from the communities from Baleh and Kapit.

Ir Tan Chuan Ngan, Baleh HEP Project Director conducts the briefing

Questions and answer session with the communities.