KUCHING, Nov 21 -- Sarawak Energy Bhd’s largest hydropower project to-date, the 1,285-megawatt (MW) Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP), has reached a major milestone with the successful completion of its dual diversion tunnels, river diversion and closure works in October.
A blessing or ‘miring’ ceremony was organised at the request of the local communities on Wednesday to mark the safe completion of this critical package of the project.
In a statement today, Sarawak Energy said the completion of diversion tunnels, river diversion and closure is part of the Baleh project’s six work packages.
Measuring a length of 1.2km, the dual concrete-lined diversion tunnels which run parallel to each other to enable river diversion activities are now fully functional.
Sarawak’s Minister for Utilities, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, congratulated Sarawak Energy and commended the Baleh project team and the contractors for their continued focus in achieving the milestone despite multiple challenges at the project site and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Baleh HEP is one of Sarawak’s largest state infrastructure projects and Sarawak Energy’s largest hydropower project so far. The project is crucial towards securing the energy capacity needed for Sarawak’s future growth and development and will support the state’s ambition of achieving high income status by 2030 in providing renewable hydropower for our growth.
“The project is expected to employ some 3,000 people and I look forward to seeing Sarawak Energy reach future target milestones with the government’s support,” Rundi said.
Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili said the Baleh HEP will contribute towards maintaining the company’s status as Malaysia’s largest renewable energy provider.
"The project involves multiple stakeholders with different needs, and in balancing these, support from the government and community has been crucial so that we can meet our completion target of the diversion tunnels for river diversion," he said, adding that this is critical towards meeting the current commissioning target of Baleh HEP by 2026.
He said when fully commissioned in 2026, Baleh HEP will join Sarawak’s stable of hydropower plants that includes Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun to support Sarawak’s aspiration to become a regional powerhouse of renewable and affordable energy.
Malaysian National News Agency
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