Sarawak Energy Hosts Kaltara Study Visit

26 FEBRUARY 2020

Sarawak Energy is growing its regional position as a responsible energy developer. As part of this, a group of 44 from the Malinau Regency, North Kalimantan (Kaltara) visited Sarawak recently for a study tour to gain a first-hand view of hydropower development and hydro-industrialisation in Sarawak.

Hosted by Sarawak Energy, the group of officials and community leaders and representatives from the Malinau Dayak community arrived here on Sunday (23 Feb) to see for themselves how Sarawak is harnessing its abundant renewable hydropower resources to benefit the state in terms of social and economic impact.

The group also met with communities affected by hydropower projects to understand how responsible hydropower development implemented in consultation with affected communities can provide sustainable solutions for progress while strengthening indigenous cultural identity.

The visit kicked off with a drive through at Bintulu’s Samalaju Industrial Park located within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or SCORE where energy-intensive industries engaged in aluminium smelting, steel, oil refining and silica- based industries among others are located.

They then travelled to the Belaga District where Sarawak’s largest hydropower plants - the 2400MW Bakun and 944MW Murum Hydroelectric Plants (HEP) – are located. The HEPs are the primary catalysts of SCORE in powering the Samalaju-based industries.

The group interacted with community leaders and residents from Apau Koyan (Bakun) Resettlement where they spent the night at a village homestay. Bakun HEP was acquired by Sarawak from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance in 2017 and since then, Sarawak Energy has developed new social investment programmes in partnership with the relocated communities from the 15 longhouses at the resettlement area which was established in 1998.

At a village at the Tegulang Resettlement in Murum, the group also engaged in a sharing of experiences on resettlement and sustainable livelihood. The group also toured the Murum HEP power station and continued with an interactive session for a better understanding of the phases of the dam’s construction, water level management and safety aspect.

Their visit culminated in Kuching with a dinner hosted by the Minister for Utilities represented by Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity.

The event was also attended by Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer and the senior management team.

The visiting group was led by the SEKDA (Sekretaris Daerah) of the Malinau Regency Government, Dr. Ernes Silvanus.

In his speech, Liwan said Sarawak was always keen to share with its neighbours the story of its sustainable journey in hydropower development and the strategy’s proven track record in driving the economic progress of the state.

“I understand that the engagement you had with the residents at Apau Koyan and Tegulang was informative. You were able to listen directly on the transformation in lifestyle experienced by the resettled communities, the benefits and the challenges faced. This provides a pragmatic perspective on our resettlement support which continues till today,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sharbini said Sarawak Energy was happy to host the visit as it has already established a strong working relationship with its neighbours through the interconnection project which enabled Sarawak’s first power export to West Kalimantan (Kalbar) in 2016.

“The interconnection project sets the foundation for more cooperation between both sides in regard to energy sharing and security in Borneo and study visits such as this gives us an opportunity to further enhance our working relationship.”

The visiting group at the dinner officiated by Datuk Liwan.

The group discussion taking place at Uma Belor, Apau Koyan.

Malinau Dayak community and Sarawak Energy team pose in a group photo at Murum HEP.

A group photo and discussion session with the residents at Long Wat, Tegulang Resettlement in Murum.