Abang Johari (second left) speaks to reporters.

KUCHING: Indonesia has recognised Sarawak’s expertise in hydropower and wants the state’s help to power their new capital in East Kalimantan.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he will be in Indonesia next week to discuss the arrangement to supply electricity to the neighbouring country.

“Now we have the initiative under the cooperation of Indonesia and Malaysia in the energy sector. We have been asked to develop hydropower energy in Kalimantan in principle.

“Indonesian president Joko Widodo asked that the meeting be held next week and I will be there with the Utilities minister to discuss on the framework of cooperation between Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and Indonesia,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating at the Sarawak Kita Empun programme at PBB Headquarters, Jalan Bako here yesterday.

Abang Johari said that Indonesia had sought help from Sarawak due to the state’s success in powering itself through hydropower.

He added that if the plan comes to fruition, Sarawak would hold a major interest in hydropower throughout the Borneo island.

“Now we are currently selling our electricity to West Kalimantan, in Pontianak, if this happens, our power grid will be channelled across Borneo,” he said.

Last year, Abang Johari indicated Sarawak’s readiness to play a role in building the new Indonesia capital.

He said at the time that the move would be a boon for Sarawak business community and urged them to take advantage of the increase of population in East Kalimantan by providing goods and services.

Abang Johari (second left) speaks to reporters. Photo: Ramidi Subari