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Regional Recognition for SARES
The Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme receives award at ASEAN Energy Awards in Bangkok, Thailand
KUCHING, 4 SEPTEMBER 2019, WEDNESDAY: Sarawak’s integrated initiative to accelerate rural electrification received regional recognition at the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES, which is an innovative government-community partnership model that utilises standalone alternative systems comprising renewable solar and microhydro technologies for remote communities, won first runner up under the Off-Grid – Power Category at the ASEAN Energy Awards 2019.
SARES is spearheaded by the Sarawak Government under the Ministry of Utilities and implemented by energy developer and power utility Sarawak Energy to provide 24-hour reliable electricity to remote villages that are currently located very far from the grid.
Receiving the award on behalf of Sarawak Energy was Dr Ng Sing Muk, General Manager for Research and Development.
Commenting on the award, YB Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities Sarawak said, “The Sarawak Government and the Ministry of Utilities, through Sarawak Energy, wants to ensure reliable and affordable electricity supply for 99% of Sarawak by 2020 towards full electrification by 2025.”
“We hope to achieve this with the Sarawak Government's allocation of RM2.37 billion under the Accelerated Rural Electrification Master Plan,”
The current state domestic and rural electrification rates in Sarawak today are at 96.4% and 92% respectively, which is a tremendous increase from 79% and 56% back in 2009.
Lu Yew Hung, covering Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, said when commenting on the award, "This recognition is testament of the dedication and hard work put in by several parties including the communities themselves. Meeting the basic needs by having reliable 24-hour electricity supply represents a start for a brighter future ahead."
With the theme, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability,” the 20th ASEAN Energy Business Forum aims to contribute towards energy sustainability and to provide mechanism for organisations to continuously search, benchmark and acknowledge initiatives as well as best practices in energy development. The 3-day event was hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Energy and was attended by about 500 participants and 70 speakers, including government officials, policy makers, global private sector organisations, as well as utilities, suppliers, renewable energy pioneers and technology innovators from all 10 ASEAN member states and beyond.
In March 2018, SARES was also accorded international recognition under the Government in Africa, Asia and Latin America category of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) Awards 2018 at the 4th ARE Energy Access Investment Summit in Catania, Sicily.
Dr Ng (center) receiving the award from Brunei’s Minister of Manpower, Manpower and Industry, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mat Suny Haji Mohd Hussein (right) and YB Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia's Minister for Energy, Science, Technology, Environment & Climate Change.
The winners in a group photo with Dr Awang and Yeo.
Sarawak Minister for Utilities, YB Dato Sri Stephen Rundi Utom (4th from left) also received an award under the Government in Africa, Asia and Latin America category at Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) Awards 2018 at the 4th ARE Energy Access Investment Summit in Catania, Sicily last year. With him are Sarawak Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, Datuk Liwan Lagang (3rd from left); Sarawak Assistant Minister for Water Supply, Datuk Dr Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Junaidi (4th from right); Syed Mohd Fauzi Shahab, Director of Electricity Supply, Ministry of Utilities (3rd from right); and representatives from Sarawak Energy: Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Sharbini Suhaili (2nd from left), Vice President for Rural Electrification, Dr Chen Shiun (far left); General Manager for Corporate Communication, Peing Tajang (far right); and Manager for Rural Planning and Coordination, Barry Law.
First runner up under the Off-Grid – Power Category at the ASEAN Energy Awards 2019.