Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) for the Proposed Baleh Hydroelectric Project (HEP) at Ulu Baleh, Kapit, Sarawak

Client : Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB)

Location : Ulu Baleh, Kapit, Sarawak

Start Date (Month/Year)

August 2012

Completion Date (Month/Year)

February 2014

Narrative Description of Project :

The Project Proponent was Sarawak Energy Berhad who planned to develop Baleh Dam Hydroelectric Project at Baleh, Kapit, Sarawak. The proposed 188m high concrete face rockfill dam (CFRD) is located on Baleh river approximately 105 km upstream of Kapit Town. The reservoir, at full supply level, with surface area of 588 km2 will occupy parts of both the Baleh and the Mengiong sub-catchments and the reservoir will extend approximately 90 km upstream of the dam on the main stem of the Baleh River, and 65 km on the Mengiong river. Tributaries of both rivers will also be inundated for distances of up to 40 km. The expected reservoir volume is 29,867 x 106 m3.

Blog Article Figure

The installed capacity of Baleh HEP’s power station is 1,285 MW.

Description of Actual Services Provided :

The scope of works for this SEIA study covered the following specific subject matters:

    • Description of the proposed Project including its rationale, concept, components and activities
    • Description of the existing abiotic and biotic environments;
    • Description of socio-economic and demographic profile
    • Identification of potential environmental and social impacts and assessment of their significance during pre-construction, construction and operation
    • Formulation of abatement and mitigating measures
    • Identification of residual impacts and recommendation of monitoring requirements

In order that the Project could be implemented to international standards, international environmental policies and guidelines are taken into account for the preparation of this SEIA. To this end, the main standards referred to were

    • Equator Principles
    • World Bank’s Safeguard Policies
    • IFC Policy and Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability
    • IFC’s Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines for Electric Power Transmission and Distribution
    • International Hydropower Association (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol
Key Project Elements :

The key elements are:

    • Socio-Economic Impacts And Benefits To The Locals In Baleh
    • Hydrological Impacts Of Reservoir And Downstream Riverflow
    • Ecological Impacts
    • Biomass Removal And Management At The Reservoir
    • Land Use Planning Especially In The Reservoir Catchment
    • Disaster Management Plan