KUCHING: Sarawak’s huge potential in renewable energy (RE) resources has attracted more international collaborations toward its development – the latest from United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) state- owned RE company Masdar.
Masdar, is one of the world’s largest RE companies with over US$30bil investment commitment in projects worldwide.
It has teamed up with Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to work on the development of clean energy in Sarawak via an deal inked by both parties on the sideline of the 28th United Nations climate change conference (COP 28) in Dubai last week.
The signatories of the memorandum of understanding were SEB group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili and Masdar chief executive officer Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, witnessed by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Earlier, Abang Johari and his deputy Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan were briefed on Masdar’s investment prospects in Sarawak in line with the state’s quest to be a regional hub for clean energy in the South-East Asia.
Masdar, which has its presence in more than 40 countries, is also a green hydrogen leader that has placed the UAE in the forefront of the energy transition.
Sarawak, which has huge hydropower resources to generate up to 20,000MW, is embarking on two hydrogen plant projects in Bintulu.
Also at COP 28, SEB has entered into a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) with Bursa Carbon Exchange (BCX), Hydropower Sustainability Alliance and the Netherlands’ I-REC Standard Foundation to pave the way for offering renewable energy certificates (RECs) on BCX, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bursa Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia’s voluntary carbon market exchange.
The MoC, according to SEB, will explore the potential supply of RECs from SEB, facilitate cross-border RECs trading and international attribute tracking standards for RECs using the I-REC platform, raise awareness through joint knowledge-building sessions on sustainability certifcation such as hydropower sustainability standard and understanding credible renewable energy claims.
The MoC will also help to promote the use of sustainability certifications in conjunction with RECs, such as by layering the hydropower sustainability standard onto the I-RECs’ international attribute tracking standard, to help end-users identify and purchase premium hydropower RECs from BCX.Given the increasing awareness and commitment to sustainability among corporates in South-East Asia, Sharbini of SEB said: “REC plays a key role in ensuring a credible mechanism for tracking RE consumption and supporting the global transition towards a low-carbon economy.
“Since our REC launch in 2019 during our inaugural Sustainability and Renewable Energy forum in Kuching, SEB has supported various players from different industries in their sustainability journey through the REC mechanism.”
The signing of the MoC will empower all stakeholders by promoting awareness of RE and sustainability, while reinforcing Sarawak’s hydropower as an essential source of renewable and sustainable energy in Malaysia, he added.
Meanwhile, Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said by adding RECs to BCX’s existing portfolio of high-quality carbon credits, it aims to provide more options and flexibility for its customers to access and trade environmental products.
“Our partners and BCX have formalised this collaboration to promote the trading of hydropower RECs on BCX, which are targeted to be launched next year.
“We are honoured to have SEB sign this MoC with us, given that it is a significant renewable energy supplier in Malaysia. We applaud SEB’s commitment to obtain hydropower sustainability standard certification for all its hydropower plants,” said Muhamad Umar.
According to him, BCX plans to offer RECs from projects with the I-REC Standard.
In another related development at the COP28, Invest Sarawak Sdn Bhd entered into a MoU with Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd.
The cooperation and partnership with the Singapore-based urban, infrastructure and managed service consulting firm was to deepen the energy transition, transformation and decarbonisation initiatives in Sarawak.
The key aims include identifying challenges and opportunities for Sarawak’s industrial landscape.
This would comprise green economic potentials via enhancing and developing skillsets of Sarawakians for new opportunities as well as implementation of energy transition and industrial decarbonisation projects integrated with greeenfield and brownfield industrial activities.
Surbana Jurong has completed the masterplan for the development of industrial terminals in Sarawak for the state government.Abang Johari, who witnessed the MoU signing, said Sarawak is focusing on promoting low carbon solutions, green and circular economy.
He noted Sarawak became the first state in Malaysia to pass a law on carbon emissions – the Environment (Reducation of Greenhouse Gas Emission) Bill 2023 last month.
It is designed to safeguard Sarawak’s environment by implementing concrete strategies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
“It will also help to promote carbon capture and storage that will help mitigate the impact of climate change while providing a platform for Sarawakians to participate in carbon mitigation projects that will earn carbon credits for their efforts.
“All the other efforts in progress such as green hydrogen, micro-algae,sustainable aviation fuel and also biomass projects in Sarawak are done with the view of a better future Sarawak and the planet,” added Abang Johari.