Bakun is powered up…

Bakun power plant runs without hiccup for 90 minutes in first-ever test run (The Star)

MIRI: Bakun Dam, the world’s second-highest concrete and rock filled dam, has “awakened” after 15 years of painstaking construction.

The dam’s heart, its electricity-generation plant, beat for one-and-a-half hours two days ago after it was switched on for the first time in a pioneer test run.

The generating unit worked and Bakun produced power for the first time.

Sarawak Hidro, the Federal Government-owned company under the Ministry of Finance Incorporated which manages the dam, tested the generating equipment for 90 minutes and everything ran smoothly.

Speaking to The Star yesterday, Sarawak Hidro managing director and chief engineer Zulkifle Osman described the event as historic.

Powered up: Huge turbines in the dam’s powerhouse.

“The test run started … we switched on the generating system for the first time for one-and-a-half hours.

“Throughout the period, it ran smoothly without any hitches.

“The wet and commissioning testing of the first unit will go on and we expect to test the synchronisation of the main system (main grid) this week.

“It is a very delicate period for the Bakun Dam and a very exciting one too because it signals the start of the functioning of the dam.

“So far, so good. We (engineers and staff) are happy with the very smooth start,” he said.

Zulkifle said that this week would be exciting because tests of the other components of the power-generating process would be carried out.

On the flooding of the main dam reservoir, he said the water level was beyond the 200m mark.

The minimum operating mark of 195m was attained on April 28.

This means that the water in the reservoir was high enough to flow into the water-intake plant to be channelled into the power-generating house to turn the generating turbines.

There are eight generating turbines, each capable of producing 300MWs of electricity. When all eight are in operation, a total of 2,400MWs of power can be produced at any one time.

Zulkifle said that 501sq km of the Bakun Valley had been flooded.

“There are at least 27.7 billion cubic metres of water in the reservoir,” he said.

He pointed out that the natives affected by the dam project had been fully involved in the latest developments in the region.

They had been hired to collect timber debris from the reservoir, for which they were paid “a good deal”.

The reservoir, comparable in the size to the whole of Singapore island, is the biggest man-made lake in South-East Asia.

The Star (Monday June 6, 2011)


The Star was very dramatic in describing the recent successful test done on Bakun Dam’s turbine/s;  using words like “awakened” and “beating heart of Bakun” in its story.

It is indeed a major event in Sarawak’s history and we may even see it gracing the pages of our State Almanac one day, in the “Today in History” pages.

The historic test run done a few days ago was significant because it shows that we’re now ready to generate power from Bakun to power up our State’s industrial potential.

Hopefully, by the end of this year, we may be able to connect Bakun with all the investors and industries that are ready to set up shop in our SCORE.


Posted on June 6, 2011, in Media Reports, SCORE and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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