KUCHING: Sarawak Energy together with several training institutions implemented a special capacity building programme for Baleh youths to undergo technical skill courses.
SEB in a statement said about 500 youths will be needed in the programme where the courses are designed to place a strong emphasis on safety particularly safety competency and safety culture, which will assist in the Baleh Dam Hydroelectric Project.
“We look forward to the safe and timely completion of this project as well as ensuring local benefits are optimised. We thank the community in Kapit for their support and cooperation,” said arawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Sharbini Suhaili.
SEB announced the the the civil works contract for Baleh HEP is awarded to China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture, following Sarawak’s State Cabinet endorsement in March.
The contract includes design and build of the main dam, intake structures, spillway and penstocks.
Design work is expected to start in August while construction is expected to begin in October next year.
Sharbini said the award of works is an important milestone for Baleh HEP as one of Sarawak’s largest infrastructure projects.
“Upon completion, the HEP will generate an additional 1,285 megawatt of renewable energy to the grid when it is fully commissioned in 2025,” said Sharbini.
The 188 metres high Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam will be located on the Baleh River, 95 km upstream from its confluence with the Rajang River in the Kapit Division.
The project will not involve any community resettlement although some farmland is affected.
“As a member of the International Hydropower Association (IHA), SEB is committed to undertake the project in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol,” Sharbini added.
Over the construction period, there may be at peak some 3,500 workers of many different nationalities at the project site.
In addition to employment, benefits expected to be accrued into the area include business opportunities as well as local content, competence and capability development.
China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture have indicated that they are looking at procuring locally sourced content of up to 45% of the contract value.
This includes local communities, Bumiputera companies, Sarawak registered companies and Malaysia registered companies.
The Baleh HEP will mark China Gezhouba Group Company Limited’s first foray into construction in Malaysia.
China Gezhouba Group Company Limited is an established hydropower specialist with over 40 years of experience including the construction of at least eight rock filled dams and a further 18 concrete face rock filled dams, the highest being 233 metres.
The company’s main designer, Yellow River Engineering Consulting Limited is an established design consultant with a portfolio of more than 10 concrete face rock filled dams worldwide.
Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd which comprises 30% of the JV, is a Sarawak-registered Class A contractor from the Baleh/Kapit area with extensive background in construction.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said Baleh HEP is the game changer for the people of Baleh.
“The roads built so that Baleh HEP can be constructed will open up inaccessible lands, and remote regions. These roads will also connect resettlements to town centres and will create entrepreneurship amongst the local community,” said Masing who is also Baleh Assemblyman.