NEWS & UPDATES
Sarawak Moves Closer to Regional Powerhouse Aspiration Through Hydropower Venture in Indonesia
MALINAU, NORTH KALIMANTAN
4 MARCH 2023
Joint venture developers of the planned Mentarang Induk Hydropower Project (MIHEP) in North Kalimantan, Indonesia marked a significant milestone on 1 March with a groundbreaking ceremony at the dam site.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo officiated the event. Also at the event was Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg leading the delegation representing the Sarawak Government.
Joining the Sarawak Premier were Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hassan; Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Dr Hazland Abang Hipni and Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili. Members of Sarawak Energy’s management team also present included Executive Vice President for Project Delivery, Ir. Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Senior Vice President for Business Development Nick Wright and Chief Financial Officer Tan Kok Kiong.
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari said Sarawak’s involvement in the development of Indonesia’s largest hydropower project strengthens its regional standing as it works towards becoming a leading player in the renewable energy sector in ASEAN, highlighting that Sarawak has the expertise and experience to partner countries in the region on the development of renewable energy.
He said this during a dinner with communities in Malinau hosted by the Provincial Government on 28 February before the groundbreaking event.
“Sarawak’s participation in the project through Sarawak Energy provides the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in renewable energy generation with neighbouring countries to promote environmental and economic sustainability for the region,” he said.
Sarawak Energy’s first hydropower development project commenced in the 1980s with the 108MW Batang Ai HEP, followed by the 944MW Murum HEP commissioned in 2014. In 2017, Sarawak acquired the 2,400MW HEP from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance allowing Sarawak Energy to integrate Bakun’s operations with Murum, creating the first cascading dams in Malaysia.
Sarawak is also exporting electricity to West Kalimantan and has plans to expand electricity distribution to Sabah and Brunei via interconnections. At present, Sarawak Energy is undertaking a techno-commercial study with Singaporean partners – Sembcorp and Singapore Power – to explore and assess the viability of the interconnection between Sarawak and Singapore.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Haji Sharbini said, "Sarawak Energy is honoured to be given the opportunity to work with our esteemed partners in Indonesia in the construction of the Mentarang Induk hydropower project to meet the demand for green energy in North Kalimantan. We believe that our 40 years of experience and learnings from our hydropower development in Sarawak will contribute greatly towards making this project a success.”
“In addition, Sarawak Energy has been a Sustainability Partner and Board Member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) since 2010 and we are committed to embed sustainable practices in the development and operation of our projects, including MIHEP, ensuring technical, economic, environmental, social and governance impacts, risks and opportunities are well managed," he added.
The 1,375 MW MIHEP is being developed by PT Kayan Hydropower Nusantara (KHN), a joint venture between Sarawak Energy and Indonesian companies PT Adaro Energy Indonesia and PT Kayan Patria Pratama (KPP) Group through their respective subsidiaries. The project is Sarawak Energy’s first international hydropower project, following forty years of experience in Sarawak in hydropower development.
The US$ 2.6 billion project is part of KHN's efforts to provide affordable, reliable, and sustainable renewable energy to support Indonesia’s Green Industrial Park in North Kalimantan. The construction phase of MIHEP will be carried out in the first quarter of 2024, targeting first power by the end of 2029.
When completed, Mentarang Induk will feature the second tallest Concrete Face Rockfill Dam (CFRD) dam in the world with a height of 235 meters and 815 meters in length. At peak, the project opens employment opportunities for more than 5,000 workers including knowledge workers and expertise from Sarawak. An Indonesian National Strategic Project, MIHEP is anticipated to deliver economic and social benefits for local communities, with planned training programs to increase the community’s capacity to ensure that a qualified workforce will be available in the context of hydropower development.
In his speech at the event on 1 March 2023, President Joko Widodo said Malaysia’s participation in the Mentarang Induk hydropower project is a symbol of the close cooperation between the two countries.
The president also thanked the local indigenous people consisting mainly of the Punan and Lun Dayeh communities for their support of the project, which he said would upgrade livelihoods and contribute to the people’s well-being. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by representatives of the communities in Malinau led by the Bupati of Malinau, Wempi W Mawa.
Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said, "I am very confident that Adaro Energy, KPP Group and Sarawak Energy, as shareholders of this project, can complete the construction of the Mentarang Induk hydropower plant. Adaro Energy and KPP Group are Indonesian companies with strong financial and execution capabilities. Meanwhile, Sarawak Energy is a Malaysian company with experience in building and operating hydropower plants with a capacity of more than 3,400 MW. The groundbreaking by the President is a historical milestone of the integration between Indonesia's energy transition and re-industrialisation.”
Indonesia President Joko Widodo (third from left) and Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg (fourth from left) during the launch of the Mentarang Induk hydropower plant project. Also pictured are Bahlil Lahadalia, Indonesia’s Minister for Investment (first from left), Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs (second from left), Garibaldi Thohir, President Director of Adaro Energy (second from right) and Juanda Lesmana, founder of KPP Group.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo giving his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Mentarang Induk hydropower project.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo (ninth from left) in a group photo with Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg (tenth from left) and Sarawak Deputy Premier, Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hassan (eighth from left) and the top leadership of PT Kayan Hydropower Nusantara. Also pictured are Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Dr Hazland Abang Hipni (sixth from left), Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Datu Sharbini Suhaili (seventh from left) and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (eleventh from left).
Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg giving a speech at a dinner with communities in Malinau hosted by the Provincial Government on 28 February before the groundbreaking event.