• INTERNATIONAL HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION
Recognition of utility company’s efforts and commitment to sustainable hydropower development
Sarawak Energy’s Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili has been re-elected to the International Hydropower Association (IHA) board.
Representing Asia, East and Pacific, Sharbini is among 18 hydropower leaders from six regions – Africa, Central & North America, South America, Europe, Central & South Asia and East & Pacific Asia – who form the new board on a two-year mandate beginning October 2021.
The board will guide IHA’s work and priorities in the clean energy transition. Board members from the East & Pacific Asia region include Malcolm Turnbull, the former Prime Minister of Australia.
Sharbini has been serving on the IHA Board since 2017 after he took over as the Group CEO of Sarawak Energy, the State’s primary energy developer and utility provider. In 2019, he was re-elected to continue advancing sustainable hydropower in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
The re-election is a reaffirmation of Sarawak Energy’s standing amongst established global hydropower players.
“This is a recognition of Sarawak Energy’s efforts and a strong commitment to sustainable hydropower development in meeting Sarawak and the region’s need for affordable, reliable and renewable energy while progressing the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UNSDGs) for a sustainable energy future,” Sharbini commented.
Under Sharbini’s leadership, Sarawak Energy has advocated for large hydropower to be recognised as part of Malaysia’s renewable energy mix. This was realised earlier this year when the federal government included large hydropower as part of the renewable energy definition for Malaysia.
Malaysia’s largest renewable energy
Sarawak Energy is now Malaysia’s largest renewable energy developer and provider.
“Since becoming a member of the IHA in 2010, we have been advocating for sustainable hydropower by showcasing its benefits through our active communication campaigns, in conferences and talks regionally and internationally.
“This re-election is a testament to Sarawak Energy’s valued contribution and the importance of our voice on sustainable hydropower development worldwide despite being relatively a smaller organisation from the island of Borneo compared with the other hydropower development companies in the IHA. It goes to show that our brand value is visible and increasingly respected,” he said.
Sarawak Energy is one of the early adopters of the guidelines in IHA’s Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) to drive responsible development and operation of its hydropower portfolio.
The renewable energy developer is currently adopting the HSAP for its largest hydropower project to date, the ongoing 1,285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Project, to embed sustainability best practices into the project’s development and operation.
Sharbini added: “It is indeed an honour and privilege to be on the Board of the IHA. Sarawak Energy looks forward to partnering IHA in helping combat climate change by advancing the role of hydropower as a significant contributor to renewable energy targets.”
IHA is the world’s most extensive and active hydropower network and was created under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1995 as the voice of sustainable hydropower.
Members of the IHA are active in more than 100 countries and include organisations engaged as hydropower owners and operators, developers, designers, suppliers and consultants.
Sharbini was also one of the speakers at the high-level opening plenary of the 2021 World Hydropower Congress (WHC), alongside Carlos Alvarado Quesada (President of Costa Rica), Executive Director for International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol, Helen Clark (Former Prime Minister of New Zealand) and Roger Gill (President for IHA), among other leaders.
The WHC is a biennial forum organised by the IHA, bringing together industry, governments, international organisations, financial institutions and civil society representatives to set the course for sustainable hydropower development.
This year’s WHC themed ‘Renewables Working Together’ took place on Sept 7-24. — @greenXtra