Planned Shutdown Of Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant For System Upgrading Works

10 MAY 2024

As part of Sarawak Energy’s ongoing commitment to enhance the reliability of electricity supply, the state’s primary energy developer and power utility will be conducting a planned shutdown for the Batang Ai Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) in Lubok Antu for critical system upgrading works, to digitalise its generation infrastructure.

The automation project streamlines the power plant’s system to enable effective management of power generation and water resources. Scheduled to be implemented in three stages, the first stage is commencing on 16 to 20 May, while the second and third phases will be implemented on 4 to 13 June, and 27 June 2024 respectively.

While the planned shutdown of the plant is ongoing, there will be minimum or no water discharge from Batang Ai HEP. Thus, it may lead to low water levels downstream of Batang Ai HEP.

Communities residing and operating along the downstream rivers in the Lubok Antu vicinity, which may potentially be affected by the low water levels, are advised to plan for and adopt responsible water conservation practices during this period.

The water treatment facility operated by the Sarawak Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) nearby has confirmed that the current raw water intake remains adequate, and the likelihood of any water supply disruptions is low. Mitigation measures are in place, including the use of a diesel-powered pump to extract water from the Batang Ai HEP’s reservoir for downstream supply if required. Additionally, there are four tributaries that flow along the river from the Batang Ai HEP to the Water Treatment Plant, ensuring a consistent and sufficient water flow. Sarawak Energy and JBALB are working together to monitor the water level at the treatment facility to ensure minimal supply interruption.

As a commitment to its environmental responsibilities, the company will also continue to perform the essential release of environmental flow (or minimum riparian flow) downstream to preserve the health and integrity of the river ecosystem. Adequate flow of water is crucial to maintain the aquatic habitats, safeguard water quality, and sustain the ecological balance of the downstream river.

Sarawak Energy appreciates the understanding and cooperation of the public during this period to facilitate the smooth implementation of the automation project.

The Batang Ai HEP’s automation project is part of Sarawak Energy’s efforts to digitalise its generation infrastructure and streamline the power plant’s system to enable effective management of power generation and water resources.