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Turtle Sanctuaries at Tanjung Datu Now Illuminated Via Solar Generated Power

Sarawak Energy lends a helping hand in supporting turtle conservation efforts by Sarawak Forestry Corporation
 
KUCHING, 13 SEPTEMBER 2018, THURSDAY: Conservation activities at internationally renowned turtle islands Talang-Talang Kechil and Talang-Talang Besar along with Tanjung Datu National Park have been given a major boost as these protected areas are now electrified 24/7 by renewable, green solar energy.
 
These turtle landing sites are now benefiting from reliable and renewable solar energy displacing noisy diesel generators which creates disturbance to the nesting turtles coming to shore. Supply from these generators also have restricted hours of operation and high maintenance cost aside from releasing carbon emission.
 
The programme was made possible through an inter-agency collaboration between Sarawak Energy and Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) stemmed from an earlier signed Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 to enhance turtle conservation programme and promote ecotourism at these landing sites.
 
The RM1.5 million solar project which is part of Sarawak Energy corporate social responsibility, was commissioned in 2017 and supplies 21 kilowattpeak (kWp) to Tanjung Datu National Park, 10.7kWp to Talang-Talang Besar and 7kWp to Talang-Talang Kechil. Sarawak Energy is engaging in this project to promote the use of renewable energy and support the management of turtle hatcheries initiatives in the area.
 
The handing over of the solar project from Sarawak Energy to SFC was witnessed by the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg who was accompanied by Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth, Dr Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Junaidi, Assistant Minister for Rural Electricity, and YB Datuk Amar Hajah Jamilah Haji Anu, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman.
 
Also present were Datu Hj Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment who is also SFC Chairman, Haji Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, SFC Chief Executive Officer, Lu Yew Hung 卢友云, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Operating Officer, Aisah Eden, Sarawak Energy Executive Vice President for Corporate Services and Dr Chen Shiun 郑勲, Sarawak Energy Vice President for Research and Development. 
 
Sarawak Energy’s generation mix is predominantly hydropower with an increasing percentage of renewables as it spearheads the State Government’s initiative to provide electricity to communities at remote Sarawak through the Sarawak Alternative Rural Electrification Scheme or SARES which utilises mainly solar technology. This scheme provided the model for the solar installation programme at these turtle sanctuaries.  
 
The programme was part of Sarawak Energy’s staff volunteerism drive in which engineers from the Research & Development Department volunteered to initiate this solar scheme in the three landing sites.  They took it upon themselves to do the ground work, source for funding and execute the project in an effort to cultivate the mindset of being a socially responsible citizen and volunteerism within the organisation.  
 
It is also in line with Sarawak Energy corporate strategies towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 which is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. 
 
Sarawak Energy has undertaken collaborations with SFC in regards to environmental conservation previously. This includes the Wildlife Monitoring and Rescue (WiMOR) operation designed to conserve wildlife, flora and fauna within the Murum Hydroelectric Project area whereas another joint program was for a Tagang system together with resettled communities, designed to protect fish species in the Murum area.
 
These initiatives are part of Sarawak Energy’s broader sustainability agenda for hydropower development, particularly in terms of managing its impact to the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem in the project-affected area and in ensuring that biodiversity impacts arising from the project activities are managed responsibly.
YAB Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg (center) posing for a group photo with representatives from Sarawak Energy and Sarawak Forestry.
 
YAB Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg (center) signing the plaque signifying the handover of the centralised solar system while YB Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities; Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth; YB Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister for Utilities (Rural Electricity); YB Datu Haji Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister for Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment, who is also Chairman for SFC; YB Datuk Amar Hajah Jamilah Haji Anu, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman; Sarawak Energy Group Chief Operating Officer, Lu Yew Hung, and Executive Vice President for Corporate Services, Aisah Eden look on.
 
YAB Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg (4th from left) and other dignitaries being briefed on turtle conservation efforts.
 
YAB Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg delivering his speech.