NEWS & UPDATES
Sarawak Chief Minister Visits Baleh Hydroelectric Project
Work Visit Briefing on Project’s Progress Phase and Development Shaping Up in Baleh, Kapit
7 JULY 2020
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg visited the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) today to gain a first-hand view of one of Sarawak’s largest strategic infrastructure development projects which, when commissioned, will boost renewable hydropower generation and energy security for Sarawak.
Accompanying the Chief Minister were Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister; Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Sarawak Minister for Utilities; and Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, State Secretary.
They were received by Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, Sarawak Energy Chairman, and Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Group Chief Executive Officer.
Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery and members of the management and project team were also present.
Prior to his arrival at project site, Johari flew over Baleh HEP for an aerial view of the progress of the civil works for the main dam including the construction of the tunnel portal diversion, which is a significant part of the works package.
This was followed by a presentation by Baleh HEP Project Director Tan Hang Kiak on the milestones in the management of the project.
For Sarawak, the future for sustainable energy security lies in hydropower generation. Baleh HEP is the largest civil works project by a Sarawak Government owned company and will serve as an additional milestone in the renewable energy and development strategy of Sarawak.
Once Baleh HEP is fully commissioned by 2026, Sarawak will have sufficient energy to cater for the anticipated rapid growth in organic and industrial demand for electricity as Sarawak progresses in its ambition to become a high income economy by 2030.
When commissioned, Baleh HEP will join Sarawak’s stable of hydropower plants that includes Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun and strengthen Sarawak’s aspiration to become a regional powerhouse of renewable and affordable energy. Sarawak Energy is also developing the state’s abundant hydropower resources based on the guiding principles of sustainability in building prosperity for Sarawakians by 2030.
Meanwhile Rundi said, “Baleh HEP is crucial towards securing the energy capacity needed for the development of Sarawak. While we may have sufficient power for now, we need to plan and prepare for what is ahead of us in the future. Energy poverty is a major obstacle to prosperity and progress in other countries and we do not want to have this happen to Sarawak.”
“The support and cooperation of the local Baleh and Kapit communities who are directly and indirectly affected are essential for the successful implementation of projects of this magnitude. For this, we thank the residents of Baleh and Kapit for their support,” he concluded.
Adding on, Hamed said, “Baleh HEP is a project to benefit all of Sarawak in the long run. We are doing our best to keep the project on track despite the set-backs we faced due to COVID-19 and other challenges. We will need the support from all stakeholders to ensure the smooth execution of the project in order to meet our target project commissioning in 2026. Construction of Baleh HEP has now resumed at an accelerated speed.”
Located on the Baleh River, about 105km upstream from the confluence with the Rejang River in Kapit, the 188m-high Concrete Faced Rockfill Baleh Dam is one of Sarawak’s largest infrastructure projects. It is also the largest HEP developed by Sarawak Energy and will generate 1,285MW of renewable energy to the grid when it is fully commissioned by 2026.
All of Sarawak Energy’s hydropower dams are designed and constructed following stringent guidelines set by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) to withstand extreme flood events and is also in accordance with guidelines set out by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol of the International Hydropower Association.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg poses for a photo together with Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister (8th right), Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Sarawak Minister for Utilities (7th right), Sarawak Energy Chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi (10th right), heads of relevant departments and agencies and Baleh community leaders.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg receives a memento from Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi, Sarawak Energy Chairman (left) as Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Jemut Masing, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Sarawak Minister for Utilities (right) and Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer looks on.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg being welcomed at Baleh HEP Site Office.