Bakun Hydroelectric Dam

Posted on July 6, 2011. Filed under: Forestry/Wetlands |

-The Borneo Post- by By Peter Sibon

BIRDS EYE VIEW: An aerial view of the Bakun HEP Dam.

KUCHING: The vital ‘reliability run’ of Bakun Hydroelectric Dam will start today before power can be tapped for commercialisation by Aug 6, says Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Zulkiflie Osman.

He said the ‘reliability run’ which is the last phase in a series of trial runs before commercialisation must be carried out within one month.

“If everything goes well, we can expect the power from Bakun to enter the Sesco grid system by end of the ‘reliability run’ which is Aug 6,” Zulkiflie told reporters on the sidelines of Asia Infrastructure Summit 2011 held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

He added that he and his top aides made up of 20 locals and six expatriates were now monitoring the dam before the first turbine is expected to harness energy by early next month.

“Everything has to be done and monitored very carefully as any mistake may cause major catastrophe which we cannot afford to make,” he said.

Energy from Bakun will be channelled to the energy-intensive projects in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) area. Among them are aluminium smelting, pulp and paper manufacturing and glass panel manufacturing.

Zulkifle, who had led a team of engineers on the Pergau Dam in Terengganu hydroelectricity project, was roped in for the Bakun project for his vast knowledge on hydro technology.

Bakun dam has eight massive turbines which can produce 2,400 megawatt of electricity when it is fully operational next year.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had said in his winding up speech at the DUN last week that initially the state government through Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) had made an offer to the federal government to buy Bakun Dam but the offer was rejected.

“Instead, the state government through SEB has now secured a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on June 1, 2011 with the federal government through Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, to sell electricity from Bakun dam to the latter at 6.25 sen per kilowatt hour with an annual increase of 1.5 per cent.

“The Prime Minister has from the beginning assured us that energy from Bakun will be used for the development of industries in Sarawak,” he said.

Taib, who is also Minister of Planning and Resource Management, said the RM7.2 billion Bakun Dam was a major step forward in the development of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

“With this supply of power now secured, SEB will be able to negotiate more firmly with the investors on the price, size and duration of the investors’ power requirement,” he said.

The Chief Minister stressed that the additional cost to SEB in delivering power to the consumers included the construction of transmission lines and electricity sub-stations.

“Once their respective PPAs are signed, investors in SCORE can immediately proceed with the implementation of their projects,” he added.

LAND OF THE HORNBILLS: Map of Sarawak and its HEP potentials.

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