NEWS & UPDATES
Sarawak Energy Expands Baleh HEP Stakeholder Outreach
KUCHING, 4th August, Friday: Sarawak Energy is continuing to broaden its stakeholder outreach initiatives for the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) to promote awareness of local content opportunities, maximize local participation and ensure the project’s benefits are extended to the communities in line with the International Hydropower Association (IHA)’s hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP)
As part of overall stakeholder engagement programme, Sarawak Energy received Chinese community leaders and members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Kapit to discuss potential socio economic opportunities brought about by the construction of this significant 1,285MW generation project.
Aisah Eden, Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President for Corporate Services and Jiwari Abdullah, Assistant General Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility hosted the session.
The group from Kapit was led by Temenggong Tan Kian Hoo, at Menara Sarawak Energy.
Baleh HEP Project Director Ir Tan Chuan Ngan and Special Advisor for Community Relations Stell Sindau, Pelagus assemblyman Yang Berhormat Wilson Nyabong Ijang and Political Secretaries to the Chief Minister Beatrice Kedoh Tajang and Nicholas Kudi were also present.
In her welcome speech, Aisah assured the visitors that the energy developer and power utility would strive to maximize the positive impact of the project for the community.
“Sarawak Energy will continue to work closely with the stakeholders of Baleh HEP in order to generate value for the community in Baleh and Kapit. Regular stakeholder engagement based on the principle of free, prior and informed consultation allows the communities the platform to voice their views and grievances on the proposed project which is in line with the HSAP.”
“We are guided by the sustainability protocols of the International Hydropower Association and this provides the assurance that Sarawak Energy applies international sustainability best practice at all times,” she explained.
“This is an integral part of our commitment towards sustainability in its hydropower project development and operations. We are also applying lessons from our previous projects with each new project that we undertake. We are looking to develop similar long term partnerships for the people of Baleh and Nanga Entawau,” she said.
During the engagement, Jiwari said Sarawak Energy would continue to engage with the local communities in Kapit and Baleh and to reach out on planned social investment programmes.
He also thanked the group for their valuable input on local content of the project and said, “We acknowledge the input from all stakeholders and we fully understand the importance of local participation of all sectors. As a responsible project implementer, 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 Sarawakian throughout the state,” Jiwari said.
He added that Sarawak Energy would continue to organise dialogue sessions with the community in Kapit and Baleh, adding that they would work closely with schools in the area to identify students who are interested and possess suitable academic requirements to enable them to enroll for the training programmes that had been planned and being carried out.
Sarawak Energy is collaborating with local training institutions to organize training programmes for the youth in the area. The plan is to train 500 youths and to date, 84 youths have been trained in Basic Metal Arc Welding, Machine Operation & Maintenance, Rigging & Slinging, Metal Blasting & Painting, Abseiling and Safety Passport.
“We will give priority to qualified local youth for job opportunities at the project site and later on at the HEP,” said Jiwari, adding that more than 3,500 workers would be required for various fields at peak activity level once the construction works started.
Sarawak Energy had been actively conducting regular engagements with the local communities since 2015, as part of the best practices in hydropower development as stipulated in the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocols (HSAP) of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).
The visitors were also introduced to representatives from China Gezhouba Company Limited during the engagement.
China Gezhouba Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture were awarded the contract to carry out the civil works and design on the project. Construction work is scheduled to begin next year and the whole project is expected to be ready in 2025. Once complete, Baleh HEP will generate 1,285 MW of renewable energy.