Bakun Hydroelectric Power Plant, Malaysia
The Bakun hydroelectric project is located in central Sarawak on the Balui tributary of the Rejang River, approximately 180 km by road east of Bintulu on the coast. SMEC was appointed in 2018 to develop a 300 MW extension to the facility by constructing a 1.2 km-long, 8.5 m-diameter headrace tunnel through the dam’s right abutment to a new underground power station.

The new plant would have a single 300 MW unit that would utilize the redundant diversion tunnels of the existing scheme as the new tailrace.


SMEC’s Hydropower & Dams project team will provide a detailed analysis for increasing the existing hydropower scheme capacity, without interrupting the operation of the existing powerplant and without drawing down the reservoir level.


SMEC was involved in the original 2,400 MW project, providing consultancy services for the management and engineering audit.


Bakun Hydro features a 205 m high concrete faced rockfill dam (the third highest dam of its type in the world) with a twin chute spillway of 15,000 m3/s total capacity. The power station comprises eight 300 MW nominal capacity generating units in a surface power station structure located at the base of the dam.


Each unit is supplied from a single power conduit ranging in size from 7 m diameter for the steel lined high pressure sections, to 8.5 m diameter for the concrete lined sections and shafts. The units are not equipped with inlet valves, and for unit isolation rely on hydraulically operated intake gates located on the power intake structure, adjacent to the spillway gates and draft tube outlet gates on the downstream wall of the power station.


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Talk to one of our specialists about our role on the Bakun Hydroelectric Power Plant Project.