Hornbill Unleashed

August 30, 2014

Baleh Dam will be built first, not Baram

Lian Cheng

Baleh Dam will be built first instead of Baram Dam because all indications point toward that direction.

The Social Environment Impact Assessment (SEIA) studies for both dams have been carried out by SEB. The report for Baleh Dam has been completed and has been submitted to the Natural Resource and Environment Board for approval while that of Baram Dam hasn’t been finalised.

“Looking at the progress so far it looks like Baleh Dam will be built first as we have completed the site investigation while the land acquisition process is almost completed. We hope to start the project by next year,” SEB chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjoveit told The Borneo Post recently.

However, the state government will have the final say which dam would be built first.

Sjoveit response confirms the prediction of Baleh assemblyman Tan Sri James Masing who earlier said there was a high probability that the Baleh Dam would be built earlier than Baram Dam as there was no social issues and protest in the area (Baleh).

Compared to the Baram project which has been facing strong criticism from the local people, there is zero opposition to the Baleh project because the area is practically uninhabited.

To a question of why so many dams had to be built when the Bakun Dam has yet to operate fully, Sjoveit said SEB alone had already taken up 1,300MW from Bakun while more was still needed to meet demands from various industries under Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

He said energy from the yet-to-be completed Murum Dam had already been committed to many customers.

“So far, nearly all confirmed energy (energy available for transmission which can be guaranteed to be available at a given time) produced by Bakun HEP Dam (1,771MW) and the coal plant in Balingian (430MW) have already been committed to aluminium, silicon and manganese plants in SCORE.”

Even energy from Murum HEP Dam (635MW) which has yet to be completed had also been promised to these plants.

In anticipation of more demand from mega players who were in various stages of construction as well as new SCORE customers who were in the final stage of agreements with SEB, the state still needed to produce more energy through the building of more dams, he added.

“There are two plants in full operations and four plants in different stages of ramp up namely Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Phase 2), OM Holdings Ltd, Asia Minerals Limited and Sakura Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd in the SCORE area. The combination of these four plants will further increase energy demand for another 800MW over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Sarawak Energy also has an agreement with PLN (an Indonesian energy company) for energy export to Kalimantan. It (SEB) is currently in the midst of finalising more agreements with other SCORE customers for new plants.”

He said energy off-take would continue to increase as more customers have completed their plants and were starting to consume power.



  1. If the Baleh people don’t protest or block the project, they are either well compensated or fools.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — March 27, 2015 @ 10:25 PM | Reply

  2. I dont hear any protest from Baleh people…

    Comment by Rod — August 30, 2014 @ 10:46 PM | Reply

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