Murum, Bakun dams on track to power state’s economy
by Peter Sibon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on June 29, 2012, Friday
KUCHING: Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan and officials from his ministry and Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) visited the Bakun and Murum hydro electric power (HEP) dams on Tuesday.
In a briefing, Awang Tengah said four units of turbines were already operational in Bakun HEP and connected to the state’s transmission grid, while the other four would be operational in stages. With the Bakun reservoir capable of operating at a maximum level of 228 metres, the dam also serves to regulate the river flow downstream as it generates power.
Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd is currently releasing between 950 and 1,100 cubic metres of water per second which will keep the river downstream at a navigable level even during dry spells, benefiting the locals dependent on the waterway for transportation.
As for the Murum HEP, it is currently under construction by SEB, and is progressing as scheduled with the first generating unit expected to be operational in 2014.
When fully completed, the plant will have a capacity of 944 MW.
Awang Tengah expressed confidence that both Bakun and Murum HEPs will generate the much needed power to meet the increasing demand in the state and to attract investors to SCORE.
The spin-off from SCORE will ultimately uplift the state as a high-income economy, including benefiting the rural areas.
The HEP projects will also create spin-off economic development as the reservoirs have potentials to be eco-tourism attractions and spots for aquaculture.
Accompanying Awang Tengah during the trip to the sites were assistant ministers of Public Utilities Datuk Sylvester Entri and Datuk Dr Steven Rundi, SEB board of directors member Paulus Palu Gumbang, permanent secretary of Ministry of Public Utilities Ubaidillah Abdul Latip and chief executive officer of SEB Tornstein Sjovelt.