SIBU, Sept 7 — The recent flooding incidents affecting downstream areas including Kanowit and Sibu were not due to regulated discharge of water from the Bakun Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) as has been speculated, said Sarawak Energy Berhad.
In a press statement today, Sarawak Energy said that the Bakun HEP mitigates the severity of flooding downstream of the Rajang River by balancing both upstream reservoir and downstream water level especially during periods of heavy rainfall.
“The Bakun HEP plays a major role in mitigating the severity of flooding downstream of the Rajang River by balancing both upstream reservoir and downstream water levels especially during periods of heavy rainfall.
“Since its completion, downstream flooding has been reduced and the impact mitigated as the dam holds back a large volume of rainwater all year round.
“The current flooding incidents affecting downstream areas including Kanowit and Sibu are due to the combination of unseasonable localised heavy rainfall with the king tide and not the regulated discharge of water from Bakun HEP as has been speculated,” it said.
Adding on, it disclosed that the last controlled water release operation from the Bakun HEP reservoir commenced on August 9 and ended August 22.
“Since then, there has been no controlled release of water from Bakun HEP except for the normal generation discharge,” it said.
Sarawak Energy has a dedicated team that continuously monitors water levels at the reservoir and downstream rivers on a daily basis and will advise if there is a need for controlled release in consultation with and permission from the Sarawak Rivers Board and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak.
“When there is a planned regulated release operation from the spillway, the local councils and stakeholders along with the general public are notified at least two days ahead of the scheduled release as per standard practice,” it said. — Borneo Post