September 21, 2022

SMEC engaged for Kenyir Dam repair and mitigation works

SMEC has been appointed by TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TPGSB) to carry out the repair and mitigation works of Kenyir Dam in Malaysia.

SMEC has been appointed by TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TPGSB) to carry out the repair and mitigation works of Kenyir Dam in Malaysia. The rockfill dam was affected by massive landslides triggered by heavy and continuous rainfall in Kuala Berang, Terengganu last February 2022. The torrential deluge of water, mud and boulders on the dam’s left abutment slopes washed off a section of the left abutment buttresses, prompting the need for immediate restoration and slope stabilization works.


Left image: Damage to the switchyard building, store and power station compound

Right image: Debris covering the washed off section of the dam rockfill at Left Abutment


The assignment is being carried out in two packages. Contract 1 involves the reinstatement of around 72,000m3 of rockfill. Contract 2 covers the installation of thousands of soil nails and untensioned rock anchors and the application of shotcrete and hydroseeding for slope stabilization. Special measures to prevent future rockfall include installation of an interceptor drain and a rock trapping net to prevent mud and debris flow. Work is expected to be completed by July 2024.


Left image: Landslides at the left abutment slopes

Right image: Equipment for the Kenyir Dam site is being transported via barge as the access bridge was washed away.


SMEC’s scope of work includes:

  • damage assessment, design and analysis for the reinstatement of rockfill
  • design of slope stabilization measures
  • construction supervision
  • contract and project management services
  • SMEC was also asked to design and supervise the spillway concrete damaged by the falling rocks.

Kenyir Dam is a key component of the 400MW Sultan Mahmud/Kenyir Hydroelectric Power Plant which supplies electricity to consumers on the East Coast of Malaysia. SMEC was also the design and construction supervision consultant when the power plant was built in the 1980s.


Left image: Reinstatement of Dam Rockfill

Right image: Debris being removed at Dam Crest


“This project is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate SMEC’s expertise in dam safety and remedial works design. We will leverage the proven track record of our technical specialists who are based in Malaysia to carry out the assignment to the satisfaction of the client and assure it of Kenyir Dam’s readiness to better withstand similar challenges in the future,” says Punitha Rajan Doraisamy, SMEC Regional Manager Malaysia.

SMEC has extensive experience in Malaysia’s hydropower and dams sector, with key involvement in developing some of the country’s most significant hydropower projects including the Kenyir Hydroelectric Project, Pergau Hydroelectric Project, Hulu Terengganu Hydroelectric Project and Ulu Jelai Hydroelectric Scheme.