Sarawak Energy & University of Nottingham Malaysia Sign Research Collaboration Agreement

KUCHING, 8 MAY, 2019, WEDNESDAY: Sarawak Energy has signed an agreement with the University of Nottingham Malaysia, to establish collaboration in research on “Developing Environmental Flows for Baleh River, Sarawak”.

The three-year research agreement will focus on establishing an understanding of downstream flow regimes in the Baleh River where the 1,285 MW hydro Baleh hydroelectric plant is being built. The emphasis of the research project will be on understanding the Baleh River flows prior to the project and providing recommendations for environmental flows.

Dr Chen Shiun, Vice President for Rural Electrification and covering for Research and Development signed on behalf of Sarawak Energy together with Hajibah Ibrahim, Manager for Legal Affairs.

Nottingham University, Malaysia was represented by Vice Provost for Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Deborah Hall and Head of School, School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Professor Christopher Gibbins.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sarawak Energy’s Group Chief Operating Officer Lu Yew Hung and other members of senior management.

Lu said at the signing, “Sarawak Energy’s vision to be the renewable energy powerhouse and hydro-specialist of the region comes with a strong commitment to sustainability. We aim to be a responsible energy developer and operator and through research collaborations such as this, we are building up a strong body of knowledge so that we can maximise the positive impacts and mitigate any negative impacts of our projects.”

Acknowledging the importance of the research agreement, Dr Chen said the collaboration would allow Sarawak Energy to achieve its objectives to assess the relationships between flow and physical habitat conditions especially in Baleh River and identifying discharges that are critical for the provision of “good” aquatic habitats.

“We will use this collaboration to build our capacity to understand the many inter-connected component of our downstream rivers, such as the ecological, physical as well as social aspects, and the role of river flows has in maintaining a balance between them,” Dr Chen said.

Professor Deborah in expressing her pleasure in working with Sarawak Energy, described the agreement as a great opportunity.

“I am delighted to support this collaborative project which will enable Professor Christopher to work hand in hand with the Sarawak Energy team on this important hydroelectric power project in Sarawak. I believe that this research project will yield great insight into the Baleh River and provides a great opportunity to share our academic knowledge and expertise with Sarawak Energy who have great practical engineering and community engagement experience." Professor Hall said.

Apart from knowledge sharing, the collaboration is expected to contribute to Sarawak Energy’s knowledge and scientific understanding of tropical rivers where the hydro-specialist operates, especially in assessing relationships between flows and physical habitat conditions.

Lu (centre) witnessing (from left) Professor Gibbins, Professor Hall, Dr Chen and Hajibah signing the agreement documents.

Lu (centre) witnessing (from left) Professor Gibbins, Professor Hall, Dr Chen and Hajibah signing the agreement documents.