KUCHING: The corporate social responsibility (CSR) project which supplied 31 households in Rumah Bada, Nanga Talong at Batang Ai with 24-hour renewable solar power won Sarawak Energy the Sustainability & CSR Malaysia Award.
The winning entry under the Utilities and Energy category reflects Sarawak Energy’s innovative efforts to provide electricity to the most remote communities.
Senior vice president for corporate services, Siti Aishah Adenan, received the award from CSR Malaysia managing editor and co-chairman, Lee Seng Chee via a virtual ceremony in December last year.
Siti Aishah was joined by vice president for hydro, Polycarp Wong, general manager for Research and Development, Dr Ng Sing Muk and general manager for CSR and Sustainability, Jiwari Abdullah.
She expressed her appreciation for the recognition through the prestigious award on the effort to provide a more conducive living environment and improve the lives of residents at Rumah Bada.
“Connecting electricity to rural households in Sarawak can be challenging, especially for villages located in remote areas in tough geographical terrain and conditions. By working together with the Ministry of Utilities, we are headed towards full electrification by 2025 and we have in place electrification strategies to accommodate the various conditions to our best ability.
“This recognition only motivates us to continue being innovative in our approaches. Rumah Bada is a community adjacent to our first hydropower plant, Batang Ai and we initiated the CSR solar project that made use of a sustainable solution to provide a continuous electricity supply. We wanted to alleviate their burden on having to transport and spend so much on fuel,” she explained.
Siti Aishah added that Sarawak Energy adopted a holistic approach when it came to achieving sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak.
“Our business operation is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Goals in particular Goal No. 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy as well as Goal No. 13 on Climate Action. We focus on striking a balance between profit, people and the environment, and in accordance with this, we are committed to environmental, social and governance good practices.
“With this, we will continue to work closely with the various stakeholders to ensure long-term environmental and livelihood sustainability for local communities while progressing development,” she said.
The RM1.45-million project commenced in June 2018 with completion in May 2019 and the solar system was designed to operate for up to 20 years with the batteries being replaced once they reach shelf life.
Nine longhouses with a total of 172 houses comprising a population of 873 in the Batang Ai area have benefitted from Sarawak Energy’s CSR Solar projects since 2014.