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KUCHING, Oct 5: Sarawak Energy Berhad’s 2,400MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) plays a major role in mitigating the severity of flooding downstream of the Rejang River by balancing both upstream reservoir and downstream water levels especially during periods of heavy rainfall.
With the recent heavy rainfall upstream and downstream, Bakun HEP has been holding back a large volume of rainwater, greatly reducing and mitigating the impact of downstream flooding situations in Kanowit and Sibu.
Sarawak Energy in a media release today, said that the current high water level situation downstream is due to a combination of prevailing conditions including heavy rainfall downstream of the Bakun HEP and the king tide.
It also gave assurance that a dedicated team is vigilantly monitoring water levels at the Bakun reservoir and downstream rivers on a daily basis.
The water levels of Murum HEP, located upstream, are also monitored daily.
The team is also working closely with the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak to reduce release volume from its Bakun spillway according to downstream water levels to ensure the safety of the Punan Ba community downstream.
The current seasonal release of water through the Bakun HEP spillway commenced on Sept 8, 2021 and is scheduled to last for five weeks, until water levels in the reservoir normalises.
This controlled procedure, according to Sarawak Energy, is conducted on a seasonal basis after consulting local councils and stakeholders, with the communities notified at least two days ahead of the scheduled release.
Controlled release is a standard practice for hydropower operators worldwide and has been undertaken by the operator of Bakun HEP since it was commissioned in 2010. — DayakDaily