SEB to release water from Bakun reservoir

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KUCHING: Sarawak Energy (SEB) will begin its seasonal controlled release of water from the reservoir of the 2,400MW Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) on Sept 8.

This process will take place over a period of five weeks until the water level returns to normal.

SEB said Bakun reservoir levels are managed by releasing water at regulated volumes through gated spillways. After obtaining authorisation from the Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), the controlled procedure is conducted on a seasonal basis with the communities being notified at least two days prior to the planned release.

“Over this period, the release volume is kept as low as possible, balancing both the upstream reservoir and downstream river levels to minimise the impact to the downstream region,” said SEB in a statement on Saturday (Sept 4).

The Bakun HEP is owned and operated by Sarawak Energy, and together with the 944MW Murum HEP, it had formed a cascading system ensuring strong operational synergy in terms of operations and maintenance.

“They play a major role in mitigating the severity of flooding downstream of the Rejang River by balancing both upstream reservoir and downstream water levels especially during periods of heavy rainfall.

“Since the completion of Bakun HEP, downstream flooding has been reduced and the impact mitigated as the dam holds back a large volume of rainwater all year round.

“Controlled release from reservoirs is a standard practice for hydropower operators worldwide and has been undertaken by the operator of Bakun since it was commissioned in 2011,” it said.

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