Sarawak Energy Launches Inaugural Global Hydropower Day


11 OCTOBER 2022

Sarawak Energy joined all members of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) around the world in commemorating the Inaugural Global Hydropower Day today.

Themed “We Can With Hydropower”, the event aimed to showcase the benefits of hydropower particularly when developed and operated responsibly and sustainably, through a series of virtual and physical events and initiatives organised concurrently around the world.

Sarawak Energy commemorated the event at the 2,400MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant, Southeast Asia’s largest hydropower facility with The Honourable Dr. Haji Hazland Abang Hipni, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability as the guest of honour. He was joined by the representatives of the communities of the Bakun and Murum hydropower facilities.

Present were Sarawak Energy’s senior management Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Group Chief Executive Officer; Ir Bunyak Lunyong, SEB Power Chief Executive Officer; Marconi Madai, Senior Vice President for Health, Safety, Security and Environment; Ir Polycarp Wong, Vice President for Hydro and Jonny Wong, Bakun HEP Station Manager.

Joining virtually from London was Eddie Rich, IHA’s Chief Executive Officer along with key members and representatives of the IHA.

Launching the event, Dr. Hazland described Global Hydropower Day as significant to commemorate Sarawak’s experience in developing renewable hydropower that has delivered real socio-economic benefits for its people.

“We recognise the immense potential of our hydropower resources and we have reaped the benefits in terms of our socio-economic growth and modernising our power system.

“By harnessing our renewable hydropower potential, we have been able to launch the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy that has attracted energy intensive industries to our shores. At the same time, we have accelerated rural electrification where we now stand close to 99% towards being fully electrified and enable Sarawakians to enjoy the lowest average unsubsidised tariffs in Malaysia and the region.”

Dr Hazland said learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sarawak Government has and continues to put in place strategies that embeds sustainable agendas and principles beginning with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy featuring key pillars - the green energy agenda, low carbon economy, hydrogen economy and digital economy.

“Next, we are developing a Sustainable Sarawak Blueprint which will guide all government agencies, business and communities to achieve Sarawak’s desired environmental sustainability goals relating to biodiversity conservation, natural resources management and climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

Earlier in his opening remarks, Sharbini acknowledged the local communities’ importance to Sarawak Energy’s success in developing and operating its hydropower plants namely Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun. Soon to join the stable is the Baleh Hydropower Project amid construction and is expected to be completed by 2027.

“As part of our partnership with the local communities, we have been developing social investment programmes tailored to their respective needs in the areas of education and young people, culture and heritage, community development and entrepreneurship and environmental management and conservation.

“One of it is the annual RM200,000 education revolving fund meant for the affected communities in Bakun, Murum, Batang Ai and Baleh as well as skill and entrepreneurial programmes targeting the youth and the women from the communities. We are appreciative of their trust, understanding and support towards us and we will continue to explore collaboration opportunities for the betterment of the communities,” said Sharbini.

The event also featured a forum “We Can With Hydropower” featuring, Sharbini, Rich, Faroze Nadar, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei and Admund Gabriel Andrew, Assistant Operation Manager for Bakun HEP as panellists. The session was moderated by Peing Tajang, Sarawak Energy General Manager for Corporate Communication.

Commenting on the event, Rich said: “Hydropower has provided a reliable, flexible and long-lasting source of energy for more than a century. It has enabled economies around the world to flourish and standards of living to grow. But we don’t often hear about the human benefits of hydropower.

“Sustainable hydropower is a clean, green, modern and affordable energy source. But it does far more than simply provide power. Whenever governments have backed hydropower development, it has brought jobs, social investment, water supply, flood and drought management, irrigation for food and ecotourism.

“These qualities are going to be crucial as we face up to the challenge of climate change. And, thanks to the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, we know how to do this sustainably. Going forward, the only acceptable hydropower is sustainable hydropower.

“So, while we take this moment to reflect on how sustainable hydropower has improved people’s lives in many ways around the world, we are also urging those in positions of power to step up investment in hydropower for the future.

“A net zero world is only possible with hydropower. That is why we are working with progressive organisations in the sustainable hydropower industry to highlight the positive impacts of hydropower for people and communities on Global Hydropower Day.”

The Honourable Dr. Haji Hazland Abang Hipni, Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability delivering his speech during the launch of Global Hydropower Day today.

Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group CEO, delivering his speech at the Global Hydropower Day inaugural launching held at 2,400 MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant today

  Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili (right) presents a souvenir to Dr Haji Hazland Abang Hipni as others looks on

Panel session themed "We Can With Hydropower" featuring (from second left)  Sarawak Energy Group CEO, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili (2nd left), Executive Director for UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei, Faroze Nadar, Sarawak Energy Assistant Operation Manager for Bakun HEP, Admund Gabriel Anak Andrew and IHA CEO, Eddie Rich joining virtually from London, moderated by Sarawak Energy General Manager for Corporate Communication, Peing Tajang (left).

Group photo of the panel speakers