Sarawak hydropower feasibility studies

Client: Sarawak Energy Berhad
Location: Rajang River Basin, Sarawak, Malaysia
Date: July 2008 – July 2009

Exploring the feasibility of developing new hydropower generation to create renewable energy for long-term, reliable and sustainable power


Sarawak’s SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) initiative is a 20-year plan to develop 20 GW of hydropower to increase the Malaysian state’s supply of reliable, renewable power. Sarawak Energy Berhad engaged Entura to explore the feasibility of particular hydropower projects to support this initiative.


Entura conducted:

  • technical and financial feasibility studies for the Belaga, Metjawah, Punan Bah and Pelagus hydroelectric projects
  • hydrological assessment and extreme flood analysis to determine diversion strategies and spillway capacity requirements
  • optimisation studies for finalising the installed capacity of the schemes
  • management of local subcontractors for the geotechnical investigations and hydrological analyses
  • financial analyses of each project, including recommendations of the optimum construction schedule.

The components of the projects varied from the 80 m high roller-compacted concrete dam at the Belaga project, to the 400 MW installed capacity at the Pelagus project and included all associated project infrastructure excluding transmission infrastructure.


Entura’s significant experience and depth of expertise in all aspects of hydropower developments enabled comprehensive feasibility studies for successful and sustainable hydropower projects that maximise energy output and efficiency while minimising project costs and risks.

Originally, Entura was engaged to assess the Metjawah, Belaga and Pelagus projects but during the course of the investigations, Entura identified another potential site, the Punan Bah hydroelectric project, which was added to these studies.

Low-head project layouts for Metjawah, Punan Bah and Pelagus were standardised to enable similar plant to be used during construction. Diversion costs for the low-head projects were minimised by using diversion channels rather than tunnels. Low-head schemes used bulb turbines with their powerhouses located within the diversion channel to minimise evacuation volumes. Hydraulic and hydrologic modelling was integrated into the optimisation of the power station operating rules to maximise their energy output.