Hydro Tasmania rejects Sarawak dam building claims
Hydro Tasmania has rejected as misleading and inaccurate claims aired on SBS’s Dateline program last night regarding the involvement of its consulting business in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
CEO Roy Adair said Hydro Tasmania was providing a range of professional services through its consulting business Entura to renewable energy projects in Sarawak. It is not building dams in that state as was claimed.
“Hydro Tasmania and Entura are not leading this project, as claimed in the SBS program, nor are we building dams,” Mr Adair said.
Mr Adair said Entura was just one of a number of international consulting businesses working in Sarawak on these projects. However, the program only highlighted Hydro Tasmania's involvement with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) and repeated allegations and conspiracies that had been floating around the internet for over two years ago as part of the environment movement's ongoing campaign against the Malaysian company Ta Ann, which also operates in Tasmania.
“We are extremely disappointed that despite being given extensive information about our limited work in Sarawak the program focused on unsubstantiated claims that stated, among other things, we were building dams and should be responsible for all environmental, social and economic aspects of the various projects in Sarawak.
"Entura has provided a range of advice, including training, safety, feasibility studies and undertaking technical due diligence as SEB seeks to develop the state’s significant renewable energy resources.
“Decisions about the locations for dam construction in Sarawak were taken prior to Entura’s involvement with SEB, and the implications of these decisions are not connected with its involvement. Issues around construction are quite rightly the responsibility of the Sarawak Government and the company undertaking the construction work.”
Mr Adair said Entura’s work in Sarawak was valued at around $3 million a year.
“We are focused on building the capability of SEB staff as the business seeks to develop the state’s renewable energy opportunities as part of the Government’s longer term plan to develop the economy and create jobs,” he said.
“While we are pleased to be able to pass on the expertise and knowledge we have built up over almost 100 years Hydro Tasmania is not building any of the dams in Sarawak.
“The work we are doing in Sarawak and other countries showcases Tasmanian expertise to the world and reflects our business values and commitment to creating a sustainable future. This extends to building a greater commitment to sustainability in locations where we operate.
“Climate change is one of the biggest issues that the world is facing and our work in Sarawak is contributing to sustainable development of hydropower to produce zero-emission electricity. If we are ever to reach global targets for renewable energy development and reduction of harmful emissions, it will be through projects such as those being undertaken in Sarawak.”
Hydro Tasmania was an integral part of developing the sustainability protocol of the International Hydropower Association. This protocol is being adopted by SEB in the development of its projects.
Details of the partnership with SEB have been outlined in Hydro Tasmania’s last two annual reports, along with information on some of the specific projects.
The professional services arm of Hydro Tasmania has operated for 20 years. Entura provides engineering and management services focusing on water and energy projects with its head office at Cambridge and offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and New Delhi, India. It employs over 300 professionals across a range of disciplines, including engineering and science.
For further information contact Samantha Meyer on 0438 210 468.
Hydro Tasmania CEO Roy Adair spoke to Leon Compton on ABC radio this morning, you can listen below: