Oil and gas company Shell is working on a programme to provide rural villages in Penampang with electricity.
The company is helping to connect the villages with power supply through the Access to Energy (A2E) initiative and LiveWIRE, a programme that taps into the potential of start-up entrepreneurs in Sabah.
Having successfully conducted the A2E pilot project in Kampung Sabibingkol, Pensiangan, in 2017, the company is now working on this social investment programme for two villages in Penampang. The work is expected to be completed by this year.
Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd general manager Prithipal Singh said when the company announced Kampung Buayan and Kampung Tiku in Penampang as A2E recipients last year, their aim was to provide electricity supply from renewable sources for those living without an electricity grid connection.
The A2E initiative is also being carried out in other countries where Shell operates.
“We were successful with the A2E pilot at a village in Pensiangan using a micro-hydro project combined with a solar project.
“We also provided assistance to villagers in tapioca planting and farming,” he said, adding that this was in line with the company’s aim to improve the livelihood of villagers besides providing power for them.
He said the two villages in Penampang were provided with the micro-hydro turbine system with the assistance of NGOs Pacos Trust and Tonibung, as well as Shell volunteers.
Prithipal said 70 households in both villages would benefit from the project.
He added that three-quarters of the work had been completed since it started late last year.
“We have done at least five visits to the two villages and the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“So far, RM400,000 has been invested for the A2E programme in the three villages,” he added.
On the annual LiveWIRE programme, Prithipal said the workshops for select participants began on Saturday in Keningau.
The next workshops will be held in Penampang on July 27 and Kota Kinabalu on July 28.
“They will need to explain their business ventures and we will shortlist the final 10 participants to undergo an intense course and make their pitch.
“The finals will take place in August, where five winners will get a two-year mentorship and an RM10,000 grant each,” he said.
To date, 282 entrepreneurs had taken part in the programme, said Prithipal.
“In fact, some of them also have the opportunity to get absorbed into Shell’s supply chain,” he added.