Ung (seated fifth left) leading the delegation from Sarawak Energy at POWERGEN Asia 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Energy (SEB) recently participated in the Energy Capital Leaders Asia Summit at POWERGEN Asia & Asian Utility Week 2019 here, sharing Sarawak’s vision of becoming a regional powerhouse and its efforts related to adopting the new energy economy and digital utility.

The event attracted more than 11,000 attendees and around 350 exhibitors, including Sarawak Energy.

SEB Power chief executive officer James Ung was one of the panellists during the session themed ‘Energy Transition Planning: How We Create the Powerhouses of the New Energy Economy’ moderated by Copperleaf Asia Pacific and Japan managing director Paul Sakrzewski.

Ung (seated fifth left) leading the delegation from Sarawak Energy at POWERGEN Asia 2019.

Other panellists included Marubeni Asian Power (Singapore) senior vice president for business development Abhay Shah, Scatec Solar (Malaysia) country manager Arnfinn Unum and Vena Energy chief financial officer Sam Ong.

During the session yesterday, Ung said, “Sarawak’s generation mix of predominantly sustainable and reliable hydropower is supporting the new energy economy that is taking shape in the region. The hydropower development has proven to be a strong enabler for Sarawak.”

Sarawak Energy’s generation mix is currently about 75 percent hydropower and the energy developer and power utility group expects to maintain hydropower as the predominant part of its generation mix in the future.

Under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy or SCORE, the corporation was entrusted by the state government to harness Sarawak’s abundant hydroelectric potential and indigenous natural resources to power socio-economic development.

“The new energy economy reflects how we leverage on low-carbon and renewable energy resources to stimulate socio-economic growth in a sustainable manner for Sarawak and beyond, creating value along our business chain.

“Our carbon emission intensity for electricity supply has also decreased by 76.5 percent since 2009. We are also contributing towards the Malaysian government’s national goal to reduce emission by 35-40 percent by 2030.

“We have been able to offer among the most competitive tariffs within Asean attracting significant investments from power intensive industries to Sarawak, benefitting the state and its people,” he pointed out.

SEB Power CEO James Ung

He also said that in addition to including solar on a bigger scale as well as continued exploration of other forms of renewables like the recently ventured hydrogen economy, Sarawak Energy has been developing and maximising renewable hydropower to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak by meeting the region’s energy needs.

Sarawak envisions to be the regional powerhouse for Asean, starting with the Borneo Grid for energy security and reliability to support the economic growth of Borneo and beyond.

Ung also shared with delegates and panellists how Sarawak Energy’s proactive steps to instil interest, knowledge and the culture of change within the company was essential for its transformation into a digital utility of the future.

“We apply a three-pronged digital journey approach focused on man, machine and method. This forms the basis of our integrated information and communication technology (ICT) blueprint through which digital technology is embedded throughout the entire value chain of our business from generation, transmission, distribution and customer.

“By 2025, we aim to be ahead of the curve among industry players in this region and be empowered to engage in smart business initiatives. We have started utilising digital tools and solutions for operational efficiency and improving business outcomes,” he added.

In conjunction with POWERGEN Asia 2019, the Asian Power Awards 2019 was held later in the evening. Sarawak Energy was recognised for the Murum HEP (Silver award for the Hydro Power Project of the Year) and implementation of the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES (Solar Power Project of the Year).