Joint venture wins 1,285-MW Baleh hydropower project main civil works contract

Malaysian developer Sarawak Energy Berhad has awarded a contract to a joint venture consisting of the China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd to perform main civil work construction at its 1,285-MW Baleh hydropower project.

The joint venture will be responsible for designing and building Baleh’s main dam, intake structures, spillway and penstocks, with design work scheduled to begin in August and construction expected to begin in October 2018.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

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

Baleh’s main dam will be a 188-meter high, concrete-faced rockfill structure to be located on the Baleh River about 95 km from its confluence with the Rajang River. Its construction is expected to require around 3,500 employees during its peak, which Sarawak is looking to fill in part through a vocational and technical training program.

China Gezhouba and Untang Jaya are also looking to procure as much as 45% of the contract value from regional sources, according to Sarawak Energy.

“We look forward to the safe and timely completion of this project, as well as ensuring local benefits are optimized,” Sharbini said.

Sarawak Energy received approval for the project from the state government in September, following social and environmental impact reports conducted in 2015.

Baleh will be Sarawak Energy’s second hydropower facility to be launched under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) initiative, following the 944-MW Murum plant.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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