Sarawak Energy Bhd CEO Sharbini Suhaili, speaking at the Conference of Electric Power Supply Industry (CEPSI) 2018 in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 19, said Sarawak wants to expand the use of renewable energy. Pix by MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) aims to expand the coverage of renewable energy (RE) to rural communities in Sarawak by 2025.

SEB group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili said the company would achieve the target by speeding up supply linkages between solitary power grid systems to the state’s power generation grid.

He said the solitary grid power systems will be powered primarily by solar power generators and mini or micro hydro generators for remote areas.

"Currently, we expect to maintain more than 60 per cent hydro in the power mix, and want to add more alternative energy such as solar and biomass by 2025,” he said.

Sharbini said the high utilisation of hydropower allows SEB to offer the lowest tariffs in ASEAN, where its tariff rate is 38 per cent lower than Peninsular Malaysia and 50 per cent lower than Singapore.

He was speaking at the Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry 2018 (CEPSI 2018), at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, in Kuala Lumpur.

Other speakers at the session were Dr Alexander Kotouc, head of Product Management at BMW i of the BMW Group; IBM Global Energy, Environment and Utilities Industry managing director Brad Gammons; and Chief Economist and managing director of Japan's Energy Economics Institute, Dr Ken Koyama.

As of last year, the coverage of electricity supply for rural communities in Sarawak was 91 per cent.

Asked about the use of digital technology in the electricity supply industry, Sharbini said the use of data, for example, can make the company's operations more efficient and effective.

"For example, the focus we need to take into consideration is in remote control and monitoring technology. Such technology can reduce operating costs.

"In addition, in order to keep the company up-to-date on current technology, it is important to hire the right individuals and create small groups that will examine current technologies that benefit the company," he said.