News & Updates
Main Dam Construction For Baleh Hydroelectric Project Commences
4 NOVEMBER 2022
A key milestone for the 1285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Project was achieved in September with the beginning of works for the Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam (CFRD). This was commemorated with a rock placement ceremony attended by Sarawak Energy’s senior management and project delivery team, the project’s contractors, representative from Bukit Mambong District Office and representatives from neighbouring communities.
At the rock placement ceremony, Sarawak Energy was represented by Ir. James Ung, Group Chief Operating Officer; Ir. Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery; Ir. Polycarp Wong, Vice President for Hydro and Ir. Tan Hang Kiak, General Manager for Baleh HEP.
Elders from the nearby communities comprising Penghulu Jampi Raweng, Lemambang Jaman and headmen from Rumah Laso, Rumah Unggam, Rumah Tajai and Rumah Rentap led and conducted a blessing ceremony for safe works.
To date, the project’s construction has reached 33 per cent completion. The commencement of the main dam’s construction work represents a significant milestone in the project’s progress. Despite setbacks faced especially over the movement restriction orders of the COVID-19 pandemic such as skilled manpower shortages, and high-water levels hampering safe work conditions, the project has clocked a series of major milestones.
Commenting on the project, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili, Group Chief Executive Officer said,” Baleh HEP is one of Sarawak’s largest State infrastructure projects and it is Sarawak Energy’s largest hydropower project so far. Timely completion of this project by 2027 is crucial for securing the energy capacity required for future renewable demand for Sarawak and the region. We have been able to record good progress thanks to the support of the government and relevant agencies as well as the focus of our Project Delivery team and our contractors.”
The Diversion Tunnels were safely completed In October 2020, diverting water from upstream Batang Baleh adjacent to the confluence of the Putai River through 1.2KM long dual concrete-lined tunnels running parallel to each other to allow for the construction of the main dam. Prior to the commencement of main dam works, another major milestone was reached in July 2022 when Sarawak Energy completed the package for the Jetty, Road and Bridges.
Pramod said, “Meticulous planning, consideration and timely execution has led the team to this point where we are able to place the first section of rock - a critical component of the project as it means we are now beginning to work on the main dam. The movement of long lines of trucks filled with rocks of predetermined size and quality from the quarry site to the dam site will remain a significant activity over the next 4 years to enable safe and timely completion and commissioning of the project by 2027.”
He explained, “We managed to overcome our challenges through a strong focus, resilience, and collaboration amongst the project management team working closely with our contractors China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) and Sinohydro Corporation, and all our stakeholders including local authorities and community. We were able to re-strategise and quickly make the necessary changes to adapt to the ever-changing environment and to maintain our momentum.”
The rock placement works has commenced for Baleh HEP’s maid dam.
One for the album- a group photo at the event
The blessing ceremony or the Miring in accordance to local customs to ensure safe works.
Ir. Pramod Kumar Karunakaran, Executive Vice President for Project Delivery greets community leaders and elders at the event.