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Sarawak Energy’s Bakun Hydro Power Generation recognised at Asian Power Awards

The company has demonstrated its commitment to various management systems as it obtains multiple certifications.

Sarawak Energy achieved significant recognition at the Asian Power Awards 2023, with its subsidiary Bakun Hydro Power Generation securing two major accolades for its stellar projects and performance the past year.

Bakun Hydro Power Generation clinched the Power Utility of the Year - Malaysia award, while its dynamic water dispatch management (DWDM) initiative also earned the Hydro Power Project of the Year - Silver category during the awards ceremony.

Through Bakun Hydro Power Generation, Sarawak Energy operates and maintains the Bakun Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEP), Malaysia’s largest hydropower facility and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. The plant has an installed capacity of 2,400 MW, consisting of eight individual 300 MW generating units. At present, the plant operates at an average generation capacity of 2,000 MW, meeting approximately 50% of the state's energy demand.

Bakun HEP has obtained multiple certifications, demonstrating its commitment to various management systems. It holds certifications for ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System), ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System), ISO 45001 (Health and Safety Management System), and ISO 55001 (Asset Management System). Its excellent performance has also been recognised both nationally and internationally.

The power plant also underwent a hydrology study revision, resulting in an increase of firm energy from 1,771 MW to 2,030 MW in 2020. Through a reassessment of its plant assets, the facility successfully upgraded four generating units from 300 MW to 330 MW each.

This innovation effectively augmented the plant's capacity by 120 MW. The enhancement is expected to positively impact annual plant revenue and improve the state grid stability. 

Bakun HEP has successfully maintained a robust operational performance and recorded a promising economic outlook.

Meanwhile, the power plant is also implementing sustainable hydropower operations through DWDM. This initiative aligns with Sarawak Energy’s structured and systematic approach towards digitalisation. 

Under DWDM, hydrological forecasting and dispatching of hydroelectric plants will undergo modernisation.

The DWDM system utilises artificial intelligence-based analytics to provide reliable, real-time and accurate hydrological forecasting, allowing for better anticipation of inflow and reservoir water levels under various weather conditions. It also optimises the fleetwide dispatch of all its large hydroelectric plants.

It also plays a critical role in enhancing flood control measures at hydroelectric plants, especially in a cascading scheme such as at Bakun HEP.

“With the adoption of the real-time management system, water released from these plants can be modelled and preventive measures such as quick adjustment to generation output and release of water in a controlled manner can be taken to mitigate flood risks during extreme weather events,” the company said.

As the largest renewable energy developer in Malaysia, Sarawak Energy’s HEPs have a total installed capacity of 3,452 MW. This is expected to rise to 4,7373 MW by 2028 after the completion of the Baleh HEP, aligning with the company’s long-term target of achieving a balanced generation mix with over 60% from renewable hydropower.

The Asian Power Awards, now in its 19th year, celebrates and honours companies and projects within the power sector that have taken innovative and game-changing steps to address the effects of the climate crisis and meet the growing demand for energy.

The Asian Power Awards is presented by Asian Power Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's revolutionary innovations and initiatives in the power industry in Asia, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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