Bakun dam trial run commences

CONTRACT JOB: Clearing debris in the reservoir of the Bakun dam yesterday. — Photo courtesy of Ten Wuan Ping

Reliability run on RM7.2 billion hydro power house expected to be held during whole of next month

KUCHING: A trial run has been initiated at the RM7.2 billion Bakun hydroelectric dam to ensure that its power synchronise with the grid system.

Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd chief executive office/managing director Zulkifle Osman said during the whole duration of the trial run, which started last week, his men would keep a hawk eye on all safety aspects, including the component parts of the hydro-machines.

“When the trial run is successfully carried out then we will do the reliability run which must be carried out in one month’s period.

“Hopefully, everything will be okay during the current trial run so that we can start the reliability run during the whole month of July,” Zulkifle told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He explained that during the trial run a small amount of electricity would be fed into the grid system to see how it would react.

“It’s just like any other generator set. During the trial run we will allow the machines to slowly gather momentum. This way we will ensure that the machine parts are not spoilt as they are made to last for at least 30 years.”

Zulkifle revealed that commercial tapping of power from the dam could begin once the reliability run was over.

“If everything goes well, we can expect power from Bakun to be transmitted into the Sesco grid system by the end of the reliability run which is most probably by the end of July.”

Zulkifle said he and his top aides, comprising some 20 local and six expatriates, were now monitoring the dam closely.

“Everything has to be done and monitored very carefully as any mistake may cause a major catastrophy,” he stressed.

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

Zulkifle, who had led a team of engineers to the Pergau Dam in Terengganu, was roped in for the Bakun project as he has vast knowledge of hydro technology.

Bakun dam boasts eight massive turbines which could produce a total of 2,400 megawatt of electricity once it is fully operational next year.

On the debris from the left over logs floating in the reservoir, Zukkifle said the job of collecting them had been given to those people who were relocated to Sg Asap.

“The Sg Asap consortium has been awarded the contract for an initial period of two years to clear the reservoir.”

Meanwhile, Zilkifle stressed that there should be no doubt as to the strength of the dam to withstand the strong force of water because it was built to last.

“The dam has been approved by qualified consultants appointed by the state government. The dam is built to last. What matter most is the depth of the dam that could withstand the pressure for long term,” he added.

CONTRACT JOB: Clearing debris in the reservoir of the Bakun dam yesterday. –Photo courtesy of Ten Wuan Ping.

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