31/05/2023 11:27 AM

KUCHING, May 31 (Bernama) -- Hydropower will still be the main focus of Sarawak’s source of energy, said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the state’s abundant natural resources, especially high rainfall and rivers offer the best environment for further development of hydropower.

Abang Johari said for this reason, he had recently requested Sarawak Energy Bhd to explore the construction of a hydropower dam on the Trusan River in Lawas.

“(So far) Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) wants to take an equity in the Trusan project and we are negotiating with a third party to take an equity too.

“I was made to understand that the Trusan hydropower project will not affect the settlement there because the area has been cleared,” he said in his speech at Sarawak Energy Vendor Awards 2023 (SEVA 2023) event here, last night.

Sarawak Energy’s first hydroelectric plant, the 108-megawatt (MW) Batang Ai dam was commissioned in 1985, followed by Bakun (2,400MW) in 2011 and Murum (944MW) in 2014.

Currently, Baleh hydroelectric project (1,285MW) is under construction and is expected to be commissioned by 2027.

The total installed capacity of Sarawak Energy’s large hydropower plants is 3,452MW.

In addition to large hydroelectric projects, Sarawak Energy has also developed small hydropower plants that support off-grid communities and rural electrification in Sarawak’s many remote villages.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said, with the ongoing construction of the Baleh Hydroelectric Project as well as continued rural electrification activities, local vendors still have ample opportunity to play a key role in driving Sarawak’s sustainable growth and prosperity.

“To ensure that strong vendor engagement with the renewable energy (RE) industry continues, the Sarawak government is fully committed to supporting public-private collaborations across the RE value chain,” he added.