Utility explores building hydroelectric dams in Asean

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), which aspires to be a regional powerhouse is exploring the potential of building hydroelectric dams in several Asean countries.

According to its group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili, SEB is looking at hydro projects in Myanmar and North Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Hence, to fulfill its regional ambition and making its first step towards realising the Asean Grid, he said SEB would initially focus on building the Borneo Grid via exporting power to Sabah and Brunei after West Kalimantan while exploring hydro dam projects in North Kalimantan.

Sarawak-owned SEB in 2016 had formalised an agreement with Indonesian province Kalimantan to work together on the province’s energy-rich resources and to jointly undertake power generation projects such as development of hydro dams.

Sharbini said SEB’s generation capacity was expected to increase to 5,449MW by 2020 and to 7,115MW by 2025.

The bulk of the electricity is currently consumed by energy-intensive industries in Samalaju Industrial Park,Bintulu within the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.

The group is currently exporting between 150MW and 200MW to West Kalimantan.

Under an agreement with Perusahan Listrik Negera Persero (Indonesian utility body), SEB started its initial export of 50MW to West Kalimantan in 2016 and later gradually increased to 230MW.

“We are now in the final phase of putting together a power exchange agreement with Sabah. It is hoped that we can sign it later this year,” said Sharbini at a media briefing on Friday.