Surbana Jurong secures key hydroelectric project in Malaysia

Baleh hydroelectric project
The 190m high concrete-faced rockfill dam will be located on the Baleh River (above), about 95km from its confluence with the Rajang River in Kapit District

SMEC, member of the Surbana Jurong Group, Hydropower & Dams (Southeast Asia division) has won a contract from Sarawak Energy Berhad to provide construction supervision for the Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP). Located in Sarawak, East Malaysia, the Baleh HEP will generate 1,285MW of renewable energy when it is operational in 2025.

The team’s deep expertise in design and construction of concrete-faced rockfill dams helped to secure the win. Prior to this contract, the team had completed Baleh HEP’s tender design and evaluation in 2015.

Andreas Neumaier, Functional General Manager, Hydropower & Dams said, “The Baleh HEP forms part of the Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (SCORE), an initiative by the Sarawak government to develop the State’s hydropower potential. SCORE aims to attract energy-intensive industries which will provide economic development and create employment opportunities to Sarawak. With this win, SMEC continues to be recognised as one of the world’s leading consulting engineering companies in the hydropower and dams sector.”

Project scope includes a review of the contractor’s design calculations and drawings, and construction supervision for the two 12m diameter diversion tunnels, 190m high concrete-faced rockfill dam and 20,000m3/s capacity radial gated spillway.

The project is expected to be completed in 2024. Other downstream work opportunities include design and construction supervision packages of the access road and operator’s village.


Major dam and irrigation feasibility study secured in Queensland

Hell’s Gate Dam
Aerial view of the Hell’s Gate Dam project site

ANZ’s Northern Team has been engaged by Townsville Enterprise Limited (TEL) to undertake the Hell’s Gate Dam and Irrigation Scheme Feasibility Study in the Upper Burdekin catchment of Northern Queensland. The 12-month study will determine the dam’s engineering, environmental and economic feasibility.

The Hell’s Gate Dam project has been in discussion since 1938 and has been the subject of a number of investigations in the 1970s through to 2014. This project will produce the first fully investigated feasibility study into the dam and irrigation scheme, and is a precursor to attracting investment for the construction of a multi-billion dollar project over the next 10 years.

SMEC, member of the Surbana Jurong Group, will lead a team of sub-contractors to complete the feasibility study into the one million megalitre dam and 100,000ha irrigation scheme.

SMEC Regional Manager Graeme Pollock said the company was proud to be leading a consortium of local businesses. “We have specifically partnered with leading local businesses to not only achieve the project objectives but also provide high-level expertise in areas such as cropping analysis, water resource modelling, environmental assessments and economic analysis which will be key to achieving the project,” he said.

SMEC has had a long association with Townsville and the North Queensland region and had conducted some of the original preliminary studies into Hell’s Gate Dam.

The scope of work includes:

  • Water resource and cropping assessments
  • Agronomy and field studies on soil conditions
  • Concept engineering of Hell’s Gate Dam, Big Rocks Weir, irrigation infrastructure, power supply, road and associated infrastructure
  • Water delivery to the City of Townsville
  • Ecology and environmental assessment
  • Stakeholder relations
  • Economic assessments

There is also a strong possibility to follow the project through further development, detailed design and construction.