Speeches
4th International Energy Week 2018
Deliver on 23 Jan 2018

Click here for 4th International Energy Week 2018 pdf files.

 

KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND OFFICIAL OPENING SPEECH

BY

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

DATUK PATINGGI (DR.) ABANG HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN ZOHARI BIN TUN DATUK ABANG HAJI OPENG

CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK

IN CONJUCTION WITH THE

4TH INTERNATIONAL ENERGY WEEK (IEW) 2018

AT

BORNEO CONVENTION CENTRE KUCHING (BCCK)

23RD JANUARY 2018, TUESDAY

@ 10.30A.M.

 

The Honourable Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Bin Ali Hasan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development , Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources;

The Honourable Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah Haji Yusof, Minister of Works, Malaysia;

The Honourable Mr. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resource, Indonesia;

The Honourable State Ministers;

The Honourable State Assistant Ministers;

The Honourable Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Mohamad Morshidi Bin Abdul Ghani, State Secretary of Sarawak;

The Chairman of the Organising Committee for International Energy Week 2018 – Yang Berbahagia Datu Haji Mohamad Abu Bakar bin Marzuki, the Deputy State Secretary for Socio-Economic Transformation;

Distinguished Speakers, Conference Participants, Exhibitors, and Moderators;

Members of the Media;

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen;

Assalamualaikum warahmatullah hiwabarakatuh.

A very good morning to all.

Let me first welcome all of you to this Conference. The 4th International Energy Week. Welcome to Kuching, especially to our guests from abroad. I do hope that you will have a chance to enjoy our city while you are here.

The theme for this Conference is: “Energising Sustainable Transformation & Opportunities.” It reflects the vision of the Sarawak Government on the transformation of the Sarawak economy. As we undertake our transformation, Sarawak must also take cognizance of the new opportunities that can be found in our part of the world. It is this exciting world of change and opportunities that we are exploring in this Conference.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Opportunities are abound in Asia. In the next 20 years or more, world energy consumption is going to be at a rapid pace of 28% between now and 2040, according to the International Energy Outlook report for 2017. Of this, 60% of the increased demand will come from developing countries in Asia which include China and India.

Fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy use.  While there is growing increase in renewable energy, its consumption will grow at a more modest of 2.3% per year in the medium term. Nonetheless, it is clear that the tremendous demand for energy gives impetus to the search for greener sources of energy in order to exploit the economies of scale presented by the demand side.

 

 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Sarawak is an energy-rich economy. Oil was first discovered in 1910 and natural gas was first fully exploited in 1983. Hydropower came into operations in 2011. The significance of hydropower for Sarawak is that, for the first time, Sarawak is able to use its energy resources to power our own economic development. This opens up a whole new range of opportunities in Sarawak.

Because of the strategic importance of our hydropower assets, Sarawak has bought back Bakun Dam which now gives us the full control and management of the resources.  Sarawak is now the biggest power generator in Malaysia, of which 70% of Malaysia’s potential lies in Sarawak’s interior.

The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (or SCORE) was launched in 2008.  There was initially a need to bring in anchor projects which are big enough to ensure the economic viability of the hydropower dams. To-date, we have approved 22 investment projects in SCORE with a total investment of RM33.64 billion.  These projects are expected to generate 17,093 employment opportunities. 

Among the projects already in operation at Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu are OCIM Sdn Bhd, Press Metal Bintulu Sdn Bhd, OM Materials (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd, Sakura Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd and Elkem Carbon Malaysia Sdn Bhd. In addition, we have also developed key infrastructures including the Samalaju Industrial Port that will take us forward into the next phase of development. 

There will be greater emphasis on downstream industries which will create higher value-add in our economic activities. As Sarawak has a small population of only 2.7 million people, we do not have cheap labour. Instead, we are placing greater emphasis on higher value-added skills to work with capital-intensive industries. Furthermore, this is critically important if Sarawak is going to go anywhere achieving high incomes for our people.

 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

There is a need for capital to work with skills in the future in Sarawak. This is why Sarawak is taking our economy one notch up the economic ladder by developing the digital economy. The world is now interconnected and digitized. We have to follow suit by being socially connected and work with up-to-date data and information. We have to live within the digital world and survive in that digital environment. There is a lot that Sarawak has to offer in the digital economy, such as the involvement of our young talent in content development, the digitization of the market through the Internet and distribution hubs, as well as the hosting of server farms as a result of the availability of our energy resources.

The Sarawak Government is fully aware that the government should not be investing directly into the digital economy, principally because it is a fast changing environment and the casualty rate is high. Such an environment is much better handled by the private sector which strives on competition and innovation. The role of the Sarawak Government is to facilitate the development of the digital economy by the private sector. In as much as the government has always been supportive in building basic infrastructure for telegraph and motor vehicles, the government shall also be supportive in building the basic infrastructure for digitized data.

With Sarawak going seriously into research and innovation, it is natural that we should also be looking at sources of alternative energy. The world has been focusing on fossil fuel in the last 150 years. There is now increasing concern of the impact of fossil fuel on the environment. The key word is now green energy.

Sarawak is looking at the hydrogen fuel cell and the hydrogen economy, mostly because of our abundant water resources from hydropower.  Hydrogen energy is now seen to have the greatest potential in transportation. There is good scope for development of green energy in Sarawak because our population is small enough for us to have complete coverage.

As we are trying to improve ourselves, we must also learn from all of you with your greater exposure in the world and know, as part of your knowledge and insight, what is in store for us in Sarawak. We hope that we can work together and help to develop Sarawak into a new and modern digital economy so that we can improve the wellbeing of our people.

       Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, 

 

Improved connectivity is the foundation for Sarawak to progress.  On this note, we are happy that the Pan Borneo Highway project is currently being implemented which will support the future development in the State and closing the development gap between the rural and urban areas. More socio-economic activities will be generated through this development, increasing market accessibility.  The development of Sarawak’s energy sector will also gain benefit from this project.

One of the many projects that we have achieved and is currently in progress as part of the development of Sarawak’s energy sector is the Baleh Hydroelectric dam, the backbone transmission line and the Samalaju Industrial Port and Park. We aim to achieve the remarkable feat of having renewable energy making up 50% of energy consumption by 2050.

 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I believe Sarawak is arriving at the forefront of the digital age with the energy industry spearheading us ahead into the future with the many recent technologies and advancements. We aim to be part of this digital transformation which we see will accelerate our growth towards reaching a developed economy. As such, we will enhance our education system in developing talents among our youths and at the same time encourage the adopting of new ICT technologies and services including Artificial Intelligence and Fintech. It will produce huge potential that will generate new businesses and services, providing high paying jobs for Sarawakians.

The Sarawak Government is pleased to provide its continued support for the staging of the International Energy Week as it provides a platform for the energy and infrastructure industry to come together to examine issues and address challenges and at the same time explore the many new business opportunities as we move into the digital age.

The future outlook of the energy sector will transcend beyond the boundaries of energy resources. International Energy Week has grown in stature with encouraging response from both exhibitors and visitors. I am pleased to note that the Expo has grown by 20% and has attracted exhibitors representing over 15 countries including India, Germany, Italy, Singapore, USA and our host country Malaysia. I am also pleased to note that the Organising Committee has managed to put together an impressive program for the conference which I noted has included many prominent speakers.

I would like to encourage Sarawakians to visit the Expo and the RECODA booth in particular, to see the developments and opportunities in SCORE.

 

Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 I wish to congratulate the organizers, sponsors, endorsers, moderators and speakers in making this conference a success.

To all delegates and exhibitors, again, I wish you a fruitful, enjoyable and a memorable stay in Sarawak.

With that, it is with my sincere pleasure to declare open the International Energy Week 2018.

Thank you.

Speeches By: YAB Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg