Sarawak Energy Awards Baleh Main Civil Works to China-Sarawak JV

Kuching, 29th June, 2017, Thursday: Sarawak Energy Berhad has announced that the 1285 megawatt (MW) Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) main civil works contract has been awarded to China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture, following Sarawak’s State Cabinet endorsement in March.

The contract includes design and build of the main dam, intake structures, spillway and penstocks. Design work is expected to start in August while construction is expected to begin in October 2018.

Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Sharbini Suhaili said, “The award of works is an important milestone for Baleh HEP - one of Sarawak’s largest infrastructure projects. The HEP will generate an additional 1,285 MW of renewable energy to the grid when it is fully commissioned in 2025 and will help to meet Sarawak’s vision for sustainable growth and prosperity.”

The 188 metres high Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam (CFRD) will be located on the Baleh River, about 95 km upstream from its confluence with the Rajang River in the Kapit Division. The project will not involve any community resettlement although some farmland is affected. As a member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), Sarawak Energy is committed to undertake the project in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

Over the construction period, there may be at peak some 3,500 workers of many different nationalities at the project site. In addition to employment, benefits expected to be accrued into the area include business opportunities as well as local content, competence and capability development. China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture have indicated that they are looking at procuring locally sourced content of up to 45% of the contract value. This includes local communities, Bumiputera companies, Sarawak registered companies and Malaysia registered companies.

The Baleh HEP will mark China Gezhouba Group Company Limited’s first foray into construction in Malaysia. The company is an established hydropower specialist with over 40 years of experience including the construction of at least eight rock filled dams and a further 18 concrete face rock filled dams, the highest being 233 metres. China Gezhouba Group Company Limited’s main designer, Yellow River Engineering Consulting Limited is an established design consultant with a portfolio of more than 10 concrete face rock filled dams worldwide. Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd which comprises 30% of the JV, is a Sarawak-registered Class A contractor from the Baleh/Kapit area with extensive background in construction.

In preparing the local youth for employment opportunities, Sarawak Energy in collaboration with training institutions implemented a special capacity building programme for about 500 youth from Kapit Division, in particular from Baleh to undergo various technical skill courses to obtain certification for employment. These courses place a strong emphasis on safety particularly safety competency and safety culture.  To prepare the community for the increase in activity, Sarawak Energy, the Resident’s Office and NIOSH recently organised a safety forum which was attended by about 300 contractors and community leaders as well as State leaders from the area.  

“We look forward to the safe and timely completion of this project as well as ensuring local benefits are optimised. We thank the community in Kapit for their support and cooperation,” Sharbini added.

Notification of award ceremony held at Menara Sarawak Energy recently. Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer represented Sarawak Energy (fifth from right) while China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) was Xu Zhongguo, the company’s representative in Malaysia; Ma Yingying, Vice President of CGGC International and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd was its director Michael Jaya