Sarawak Energy at Second International Conference on Dam Safety Management and Engineering 2023


30 MARCH 2023

Sarawak Energy shared its experience on sustainable hydropower dam developments and their importance to Sarawak’s energy transition and socio-economic development at the second International Conference on Dam Safety Management and Engineering 2023 (ICDSME2023) at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur on 16-17 March.

In a keynote presentation, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili highlighted that the corporation was committed to the San Jose Declaration on sustainable hydropower development, and that dam safety was a top priority.

He explained that its Dam Safety Programme, which is aligned with international best practices as part of Sarawak Energy’s commitment to the safe construction and operation of its hydropower dams, aims to mitigate any risks to upstream and downstream communities.

“Our policy on dam safety ensures the safety of our dams at all times, as it is a vital factor in the continuity of our hydropower projects and to safeguard our people, our environment and our operations,” he said.

Sharbini highlighted Sarawak Energy's commitment to maximising the beneficial impacts of its operations and minimising any potential negative impacts. He underlined the Company's ambition to establish itself as a regional powerhouse, saying, “This has only been possible through our hydropower potential which we have harnessed to deliver benefits for Sarawak, and through which we are looking at the next staircase of growth – by positioning ourselves as a sustainable battery of the ASEAN region.”

Organised by the Malaysian National Committee on Large Dams (MYCOLD), ICDSME2023 comprised keynote presentations and focused sessions on topics related to the planning, design, operation, maintenance and upgrading of dam safety. Themed ‘Resilient Dams for Safe Communities’, the two-day conference saw the attendance of about 450 professionals and experts in dam safety and engineering-related fields.

At the ICDSME2023 Conference Dinner at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 16 March, Sarawak Energy were honoured with several awards, including the 'MYCOLD Best Operator Award (Dam Safety Programme Category) awarded to the Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP).

The award was presented to Sharbini, who also received a Special Appreciation Award from the organiser.

Two senior engineers, Felix Farentino Anak Bujang and Frankie Anak Bujum, who work for Murum HEP and Bakun HEP respectively, were also recognised as Certified Dam Safety Inspectors during the same event.

The awards presented at the event were determined based on international best practices for dam safety by a jury comprising members of various Commissions on Large Dams.

On the final day of ICDSME2023, Sarawak Energy’s senior engineer, Farah Hanan Binti Tipol was honoured with the ‘Best Technical Paper Award – Dam Safety Review and Risk Assessment’ for her paper titled: 'Evacuation Time Estimation for Flood Event under Hypothetical Total Dam Breach Scenario Using Weibull Distribution: Case Study for Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant'.

The two-stage judging process for this award involved two juries comprising dam safety experts. Selected papers in consideration for the award were judged based on coherence and their technical applicability in hydropower dam operations.

Sarawak Energy Group CEO Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili presenting his keynote on ‘Sustainable Hydropower Dams’ at ICDSME2023

Group photo at Sarawak Energy’s exhibition booth at ICDSME2023

Senior engineer in Sarawak Energy, Farah Hanan Binti Tipol (right) receiving the ‘Best Technical Paper Award – Dam Safety Review and Risk Assessment’ from International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) President Michel Lino

Deputy Secretary General (Water & Sewerage) in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Dr. Ching Thoo A/L Kim presenting Sharbini with the 'MYCOLD Best Operator Award (Dam Safety Programme Category)' for Sarawak Energy's 2,400MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant during the ICDSME2023 Conference Dinner

Team Sarawak Energy at the ICDSME2023 Conference Dinner, including senior engineers Frankie Anak Bujum (front centre) and Felix Farentino Anak Bujang (front 3rd right) who were recognised as Certified Dam Safety Inspectors during the event