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Sarawak at the 2017 World Hydropower Congress in Addis Ababa
Sarawak Energy at platform to advance sustainable hydropower development
KUCHING, 19TH MAY 2017, FRIDAY: The biennial World Hydropower Congress was recently concluded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Themed “Better hydro in an interconnected world”, the 2017 edition brought together the international hydropower development community to advance the sustainable energy source.
Organised every two years by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), this edition was held for the first time in Africa and drew over 600 participants from 60 countries. The congress was officiated by Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia. The event was also attended by many high level government officials from Ethiopia.
Sarawak was a strong presence with 21 participants with the delegation led by Dato Alice Jawan Empaling, Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Rural Electricity and Water Supply. Datuk JC Fong from Sarawak Energy’s Board of Directors as well as senior management and technical staff were also part of the delegation.
During her well-received presentation, Dato Alice shared Sarawak’s experiences in hydropower development, showcasing the state’s hydropower projects and corporate social responsibility efforts to power community growth in project areas. She presented Sarawak’s vision for an interconnected world and provided positive insight into Sarawak’s hydropower capacity.
“By realising the Borneo Grid, Sarawak has the potential to become the “battery of ASEAN” with interconnections from Borneo to West Malaysia, to the Philippines and within Indonesia, from Kalimantan to Java,” she said in her presentation.
Also presenting at the session were Wang Lin, president of Three Gorges; Thierry Tanoh, Minister of Energy of Ethiopia; Lucio Monari, director of World Bank Group; and Song Dongsheng, president of Power China.
Sarawak Energy is supporting the State in developing hydropower to provide sustainable, reliable, affordable and renewable energy for the State and its people. The development of hydropower has enabled Sarawak to enjoy the lowest electricity tariffs in Malaysia and ASEAN while those affected by these developments have also benefitted both socially and economically.
As a platinum member and sustainability partner of the IHA since 2010, Sarawak Energy implements all major hydropower projects in Sarawak in accordance with best practices and is guided by the IHA’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol and International Commission on Large Dams.
During the congress, Jenny Choo, a biologist from Sarawak Energy, shared her research findings of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprint of Sarawak’s HEP reservoirs at Batang Ai and Murum, via G-res tool, an online tool that enables users to estimate the GHG footprint of reservoirs including hydropower reservoirs.
“The tool also takes into account emissions related to other human activities, such as infrastructure construction, and allocates emissions to various reservoir purposes’” Choo said in her presentation.
Together with her in this session were Rikard Liden, Senior Hydropower Specialist, World Bank Group; and Professor Yves Prairie, the Chair of Global Environmental Changes, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The three-day congress featured high level panel discussions and interactive debates in over 28 sessions and included an exhibition from industry players. Sarawak Energy also participated in the World Hydropower Congress in 2011 in Brazil, 2013 in Kuching, 2015 in Beijing.