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Malaysia utility completes IHA sustainability protocol training

KUCHING, Malaysia 11/28/11 (PennWell) -- The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has completed the first training session for its Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, educating employees of Malaysia utility Sarawak Energy Berhad in utilizing the hydro development tool.

"Sarawak Energy is the first of the IHA Sustainability Partners to receive training on the protocol, representing a key milestone in the development of the protocol as a tool to guide sustainability in the sector," IHA Program Director Cameron Ironside said November 21. "The protocol provides a common language around which issues of sustainability can be discussed and understood, and such training with multiple stakeholders contributes significantly to the process."

The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol offers a consistent, globally applicable method of assessing performance in about 20 vital topics of the sustainability of hydropower facilities, depending on the stage of the assessment. The topics cover the four principal pillars of sustainability: social, economic, environmental, and technical.

In October, an IHA panel conducted the first sustainability assessment of a hydroelectric project, Australia's 95.8-MW Trevallyn project, using the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

In addition to Sarawak Energy employees, participants in the training included representatives of the Sarawak State Planning Unit, Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board, and Sarawak Ministry of Public Utilities. Training took place at a local hotel and at hydropower projects in Sarawak State.

"The knowledge gained will help us apply the highest levels of international sustainability best practice to all our hydropower projects," Sarawak Energy spokesman Haniza Hamid said.

Sarawak Energy, which is building the 2,400-MW Bakun hydroelectric project in the state, is planning several other hydro projects including 944-MW Murum, 1,000-MW Baram, 300-MW Metjawah, and 150-MW Limbang.

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