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Sarawak Energy At Prestigious Singapore International Energy Week 2022

Highlights Accelerating Energy Transition with Hydropower As An Enabler


30 OCTOBER 2022

Sarawak’s low carbon energy transition with renewable hydropower as the foundation continues to attract international interest with strong representation at the Singapore International Energy Week or SIEW 2022 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands. Energy ministers and industry leaders convened for the premier energy summit from 25 to 28 October to discuss and share views on areas surrounding the development of low carbon solutions and innovations as well as sustainable financing.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony on 25 October 2022. The following days saw Sarawak Energy represented at different sessions as part of the conversation on the global energy transition and its vital role in climate action.

At a panel session on ‘Scaling Decarbonisation Technologies’ at SIEW’s Singapore-IRENA High Level Forum Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, reminded delegates that hydropower was the “forgotten giant” of the energy transition.

In the conversation with other international energy leaders, Sharbini narrated Sarawak’s hydropower development experience and how it had accelerated the transition to other renewables. He explained how the renewable power source had decarbonised Sarawak’s grid emission intensity, accelerated Sarawak’s socio-economic transformation and triggered research and expansion of alternative renewables like solar, floating solar and green hydrogen production.

Dr Tan See Leng, Singapore’s Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade & Industry officiated at the forum. Also at the high-level forum were Francesco La Camera, Director-General for IRENA; Christophe Inglin, Vice Chairman for Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore; Nicholas Wagner, from IRENA's Innovation & Technology Centre; H.E. Eng Ahmed Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Undersecretary Abu Dhabi Department of Energy for UAE; and Rida Mulyana, Secretary General for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Indonesia.

Sharbini also highlighted that for developing countries in the ASEAN region, energy affordability remains a critical need and renewable hydropower has enabled Sarawak to offer the lowest unsubsidised tariffs in Malaysia and the region. He also emphasised collaboration and sharing of renewable energy resources as critical towards achieving regional decarbonisation goals.

“While we work on securing energy and strengthening supply reliability, providing affordability is crucial and since we (Sarawak) have the capacity, we can share our resources through connectivity and interconnections to help support and accelerate the transition towards renewables in the region.

“We need to work together to advance the transition, and this requires strong political will with action-oriented policies in place.”

Fellow panelists included Yoon Young Kim, President for Schneider Electric Malaysia and Brunei; Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary for United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); David Gray, Non-Executive Director for Tokamak Energy; Elizabeth Urbanas, Deputy Assistant Secretary of International Affairs in the Department of Energy, United States and Dr Akhomdeth Vongsay, Director General, Department of Planning and Cooperation in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR.

On the third day of the summit, Dr Mak Met, Sarawak Energy Senior Vice President for Human Resources spoke on preparing the workforce to enable the energy transition in a panel discussion alongside Ir. Ts. Bibi Hazrina Alli Rahman, Head of Strategic Asset and Safety Governance, TNB Integrated Learning Solutions Sdn Bhd at the Future of the Grid platform. The discussion focused on ways to prepare workforce intra-organisation and inter-organisation in support of the fast-paced advancement in the energy industry.

Other topics included upskilling digital skills of existing workforce, and the need to revisit recruitment criteria that emphasise more on reskilling potential and adaptability. Reskilling potential and adaptability are imperatives for workforce and organisation to thrive in a fast-changing world.

Mak also shared digitalisation experiences in Sarawak Energy. “The automation of HR processes was successfully done in early 2018 with the implementation of on-line people system despite initial reluctance from some users. Once users realised the benefits of the online people system, they found it facilitated work and enjoyed using it. And today, we can’t live without it. The Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the digitalisation culture in Sarawak Energy, and we capitalised on it to automate our system and our employees displayed high degree of adaptability in embracing the changes.”

He also advocated for more collaborations across organisations in talent development such as exchange programmes, short assignments and sharing of resources.

Sarawak Energy Group CEO Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili speaks at a panel on 'Scaling Decarbonisation Technologies' at SIEW's Singapore-IRENA High Level Forum.

Dr Mak Met, Sarawak Energy Senior Vice President for Human Resources on preparing the workforce to enable energy transition.