Sarawak Energy Berhad has awarded the main civil works contract for the 1285MW Baleh Hydroelectric Project in Malaysia to a joint venture of China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd.

The contract includes design and build of the main dam, intake structures, spillway and penstocks. Design work is expected to start in August while construction is expected to begin in October 2018.

“The award of works is an important milestone for Baleh HEP – one of Sarawak’s largest infrastructure projects,” commented Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Sharbini Suhaili. “The HEP will generate an additional 1285MW of renewable energy to the grid when it is fully commissioned in 2025 and will help to meet Sarawak’s vision for sustainable growth and prosperity.”

 The 188m high Concrete Faced Rockfill Dam (CFRD) will be located on the Baleh River, about 95km upstream from its confluence with the Rajang River in the Kapit Division. The project will not involve any community resettlement although some farmland is affected.

Over the construction period, there may be at peak some 3,500 workers of many different nationalities at the project site. In addition to employment, benefits expected to be accrued into the area include business opportunities as well as local content, competence and capability development. China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd Joint Venture have indicated that they are looking at procuring locally sourced content of up to 45% of the contract value. This includes local communities, Bumiputera companies, Sarawak registered companies and Malaysia registered companies. 

The Baleh HEP will mark China Gezhouba Group Company Limited’s first foray into construction in Malaysia. Untang Jaya Sdn Bhd which comprises 30% of the JV, is a Sarawak-registered Class A contractor from the Baleh/Kapit area with extensive background in construction.