HYDRO Tasmania is preparing to sever ties with controversial dam building projects in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.
Hydro has been targeted by Sarawak campaigners concerned about the potential displacement of tens of thousands of indigenous people.
Hydro chief executive Roy Adair told a government business hearing yesterday five employees were seconded to local firm Sarawak Energy Berhad.
``It's not our intention to renew their contracts,'' Mr Adair said.
The first will finish work with SEB before Christmas.
The announcement comes after Hydro met Sarawak village leaders on Monday, who pleaded with the government-owned business to end its involvement.
The delegation also attended yesterday's parliamentary hearings.
Mr Adair defended Hydro's role in Sarawak.
``We have brought a level of integrity to this project, we are a force for good in this process,'' he said.
He denied the withdrawal was a result of the controversy.
``We have a number of other project areas we can work on in the world,'' he said.
During the hearing, Hydro executives refused to say how much its energy retail arm Momentum, which operates on the mainland, spent on sponsorship.
The company has sponsorship arrangements with five sports organisations such as AFL clubs Geelong and Adelaide and the Victorian Racing Club.
Mr Adair said other retail companies did not have to reveal their marketing budget.
``We don't want to lose any commercial advantage,'' he said.