Sarawak Energy is developing the 1,285MW Baleh hydroelectric power (HEP) project in the Sarawak state of Malaysia.
General Electric is supplying five 257MW Francis turbines for the Baleh HEP project.
China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) and Untang Jaya are responsible for the main civil works of the Baleh hydroelectric power plant. Image courtesy of Sarawak Energy.

The Baleh hydroelectric power project is a 1,285MW project under construction on the Baleh River in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The hydropower facility is being developed by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) Power, a subsidiary of state-owned Sarawak Energy.

The construction works on the Baleh hydropower project were started in September 2018 with commissioning scheduled by 2026.

At full capacity, the hydroelectric power station is expected to generate approximately 9,200-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually.

Location and site details

The Baleh hydroelectric power project is located on the Baleh River, near the Kapit town, in the Uluh Baleh region, in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia.

The project site lies approximately 105km upstream of the Baleh River’s convergence with the Rejang River.

Baleh hydroelectric plant make-up

The Baleh hydroelectric power project will comprise a 188m-high concrete faced rockfill dam (CFRD) approximately 225m above sea level, and a ground power plant equipped with five 257MW Francis turbines.

The dam will be designed to create a reservoir volume of up to 29,867 million cubic meters (mcm).

The project will also involve the construction of a left-bank radiated gated spillway with a capacity of 20,000m3/s, power station inlet, two 12m-diameter, horse-shoe shaped parallel diversion tunnels, tunnel inlet and outlet structures, pressure steel pipes, and a switch station.

The project also involves the construction of four bridges as part of alternative road development to link the Kapit town to the project site.

An HZS90D modular concrete mixing plant, delivered by Fangyuan Group (FYG), is being utilised for the construction activities at the project site.

Power transmission

The electricity generation by the Baleh hydroelectric power project will be transmitted to Sarawak Energy Berhad’s core grid through a double circuit 500kV power transmission line.

Contractors involved

SEB Power awarded a contract worth £125.63m ($159m) to a consortium of GE Hydro France, GE Renewable Malaysia, and Sinohydro Corporation for the main electrical and mechanical works of the project in December 2018.

China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) and Untang Jaya were contracted for the main civil works of the hydroelectric project in August 2017. The scope includes the design and construction of the main dam, intake structure, spillway, and penstocks.

General Electric, with a contract value of approximately £77.75m ($98.4m) is responsible for the design, manufacturing, and supply of the electro-mechanical, as well as the balance of plant (BOP) equipment for the project.

Yellow River Engineering Consulting Company was engaged as a design consultant by CGGC.

Sinohydro Bureau Corporation and AF Construction consortium were engaged in the construction of the diversion tunnels.

JEC and Perbena Emas joint venture signed a contract worth approximately £17.58m ($23.24m) with SEB Power for the construction of a jetty, roads, and bridges as part of the project in August 2017.

Chemsain was contracted for the preparation of the social and environmental impact assessment (SEIA) for the hydroelectric project, while GHD was engaged to carry out the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.

SMEC, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, was engaged by Sarawak Energy for construction supervision services for the project in June 2017. SMEC was also contracted for tender design and evaluation of tenders for the project in 2015.

Sarawak Energy engaged Entura Clean Energy and Water Institute for an independent review on the Baleh hydroelectric power project, while Addleshaw Goddard provided advisory services for the project financing and construction.

Baleh hydroelectric power project background

The social and environment impact assessment (SEIA) report for the Baleh hydroelectric power project was approved by the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) Sarawak in March 2015.

The Sarawak State Government of Malaysia granted approval for the construction of the project in September 2016.