Sarawak Energy, UTP seal agreement on corrosion research

KUCHING, Sept 10 -- Sarawak Energy Bhd and Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) have signed an agreement to collaborate on corrosion research for the energy developer’s hydropower generation facilities.

With the agreement, both parties will work together in the areas of corrosion fundamental study of bulk and surface chemistry, assessment of coating performance and development of a novel framework of a corrosion management plan for the Bakun Hydroelectric Plant in Belaga, central Sarawak.

In a statement today, Sarawak Energy said its general manager for research and development, Dr Ng Sing Muk, and UTP vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib signed the agreement in a virtual ceremony attended by Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili last Monday.

Sharbini said at the ceremony that the agreement was an important undertaking as its outcome was expected to contribute to improving the performance of the 2,400 megaWatt (MW) hydroelectric plant, which was commissioned in 2011 and acquired by Sarawak Energy from Malaysia’s Finance Ministry in 2017.

“This research collaboration will also provide rich learnings for future hydropower developments in the Rajang Basin and across Borneo with similar conditions such as geographical terrain, flora and hydrology," he said in the statement.

According to him, while corrosion issues are generally unavoidable in the hydropower generation industry, having effective corrosion systems and maintenance programmes are essential to reducing downtime, maximising output and securing a long life for hydro installations,

“Through the research project, the company would assess the performance and enhance the protective measures of Sarawak Energy’s generation assets to ensure that the reliability of its hydropower plant systems is not compromised,” he said.

Sharbini said Sarawak Energy was confident that the collaboration with UTP would be fruitful and that the knowledge shared would provide it with in-depth understandings of the contributing factors to corrosion at its generation facilities and empowering the company to formulate better mitigation measures.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Ibrahim said the signing of the agreement marked the beginning of a dynamic relationship between the university and Sarawak Energy in areas of research and consultancy, as well as academics. 

According to him, UTP’s Centre for Corrosion Research, which is under the Institute of Contaminant Management, leads the research and innovation in the field of corrosion by conducting testing and research-driven by the industrial needs as well as providing expertise and facilities for both upstream and downstream.


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