Bakun HEP reservoir to release water from July 13 to Aug 3

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KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) will commence its seasonal controlled release of water from the 2,520MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) reservoir from July 13 to Aug 3, lasting three weeks.

In a statement, the company said this process complies with the Sarawak Rivers Board’s requirements, and approval from the authority is obtained prior to the release.

Additionally, relevant communities are informed through public notices and social media at least two days before the scheduled release.

“During this period, Sarawak Energy will release water in regulated volumes through the gated spillways, utilising a dynamic water dispatch management system introduced in 2020.

“The system integrates data on weather and inflow forecasts to manage reservoir levels, incorporating predictive weather patterns to provide more accurate inflow forecasts and projected reservoir levels up to six months or more.

“Inflows refer to water entering the reservoir from various sources, primarily streams, rivers, and other surface water bodies,” the statement read.

The utility company added that the system is also used by the Batang Ai and Murum HEPs to better manage the relationship between weather, water flows, and water release requirements.

This enables Sarawak Energy to operate its hydroelectric plants more efficiently and facilitates better planning and scheduling of controlled releases.

“Seasonal release of water is part of the hydropower operator’s annual standard practice to manage and regulate water levels upstream and downstream of the facility.

“This improves water level management, supporting river navigation during dry seasons and aiding in flood mitigation during rainy periods.

“Since the commissioning of the Bakun HEP, the severity of downstream flooding for the Rajang River has been minimised,” it added.

The company reassured that all hydropower facilities operated by Sarawak Energy are designed, constructed, and managed according to the guidelines set by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) and the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance’s Hydropower Sustainability Standards.

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