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23 Jan 2023

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Sustainable Hydropower Keys Continued Development in Sarawak, Malaysia

“Sustainable hydropower is an essential foundation for Sarawak Province's continued development through the provision of clean, green, modern, and affordable energy, to meet its climate goals,” according to an update from Sarawak Energy.

Sarawak Province is part of Malaysia. It's located in the east of the country, on the island of Borneo, a large island that it shares with several Indonesian provinces and with the Kingdom of Brunei. Among the Indonesian provinces on Borneo is East Kalimantan, the site of the country's new capital city, Nusantara, a $35 billion project scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Sarawak Energy's Batang Ai, Bakun and Murum hydropower plants electricity to Sarawak, supporting domestic and industrial customers as well as neighbouring West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Sarawak Energy reports that electricity demand is increasing rapidly against supply from these hydropower plants.”To meet Sarawak's net zero ambitions, more hydropower capacity is needed urgently,” according to the company. “Sarawak Energy is meeting this with the new Baleh hydropower project, due for completion in 2027.”

Delivering Sustainability
To deliver this sustainably, Sarawak Energy has been working with the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to train its staff to use the internationally recognised Hydropower Sustainability Standard's Tools. A total of 75 staff members jhave been trained as certified users of the Tools. In addition, 23 staff members are now recognized as accredited assessors of the Tools.

The Hydropower Sustainability Standard is described by the IHA as an independent international certification, which measures minimum levels of good practice in twelve sustainability topics from biodiversity and indigenous peoples to water quality and climate change mitigation.

Developed by a multistakeholder group comprised of industry, environmental and social NGOs, multilateral banks and civil society organisations, the Standard provides a framework to incentivize sustainable hydropower projects and improve less-sustainable developments.

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