Strong synergy with stakeholders crucial in paving the way for energy transitions, says SEDC Energy CEO


Robert during the sharing session. — Photo by Galileo Petingi

KUALA LUMPUR: Strong synergy with stakeholders is crucial in paving the way towards energy transitions, said Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Energy chief executive officer Robert Hardin.

He said this is because the New Energy Economy is based on the strengths and resources that Sarawak has and the design may not work in other states or countries with a different set of resources and strengths.

“The word ‘synergy’ is a very popular and widely used term. For us in SEDC Energy, we hold a strong belief that with the fast development of the Sarawak Green Economy, a strong synergy with all our stakeholders is key in ensuring the betterment of everyone,” he said in a sharing session at the Energy Asia 2023 conference here on Monday.

Robert was echoing the leadership address made by Haitham Al Ghais, secretary-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earlier.

In his address, Al Ghais emphasised that when talking about energy transitions, it must be plural as he believed each nation and people have their own energy transition pathways.

He added that the capacities and national circumstances of developing countries must be taken into account.

“Addressing the energy and climate challenges must put fairness at its heart — making sure businesses, governments and communities can come together to deliver genuine and real change,” said Al Ghais.

Meanwhile, on synergistic partnerships, Robert said a multi-step approach has been devised to ensure SEDC Energy’s partnerships hold up over time through various platforms and measures.

He said one of the measures is having transparent communication involving local community members in workshops and focus groups to ensure their perspectives are considered and that they understand and embrace the need for energy transitions.

He said talent development is also crucial, where SEDC Energy provides training and support in enhancing local community members’ skills, knowledge and abilities through various established institutes and research centres.

Robert added that collaborative problem-solving and community participation is also done with the communities involved, where SEDC Energy engages with local leaders and representatives to understand and gather insights for a better understanding of the surroundings — insights which are then incorporated into its future planning.

“There are many ways we ensure our business provides a transparent communication with our local communities — participation in forums and talks provide us a platform to engage with our stakeholders and allows for an open dialogue session.

“Our social media presence also helps in reaching out to our local community by providing regular updates on our work, project milestones and achievements. Local community CSR events enable us to foster healthy relationships with our local communities,” he said.