Sarawak Energy to commence seasonal controlled release of water at Bakun dam

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The Bakun HEP reservoir.

KUCHING (July 10): Sarawak Energy is commencing its seasonal controlled release of water from the reservoir of the 2,520MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) from this July 13 to August 3.

The controlled release which will take place over a three-week period is conducted in compliance with the Sarawak Rivers Board’s requirements, said Sarawak Energy in a statement.

“Approval for the release has been secured from the authority, and relevant communities have been notified through public notices and social media at least two days prior to the scheduled release,” it said.

“During this period, Sarawak Energy will regulate water discharge through the gated spillways using a dynamic water dispatch management system introduced in 2020.”

“The advanced system integrates data on weather and inflow forecasts to manage reservoir levels by incorporating predictive weather patterns, whereby this water dispatch management system is also employed by the Batang Ai and Murum HEPs,” it said.

The system, it said, enhances HEP’s efficiency and supports better planning and scheduling of controlled releases, of which the seasonal water releases are also part of Sarawak Energy’s standard annual practice for managing water levels both upstream and downstream of the facility.

“These releases improve water level management, support river navigation during dry seasons, and aid flood mitigation during rainy periods.

“Since the commissioning of Bakun HEP, the severity of downstream flooding in the Rajang River has been minimized,” it said.

“All hydropower facilities operated by Sarawak Energy are designed, constructed, and managed in accordance with the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) guidelines and the Hydropower Sustainability Alliance’s Hydropower Sustainability Standards,” it added.

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