Scoring another win for hydropower plant project in Papua New Guinea

Baime Hydropower Project in Papua New Guinea
The location in Baime River where the hydropower plant’s diversion weir will be constructed.

SMEC, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, was once again appointed by PNG Forest Products to provide the tender design and documentation for the next phase of the Baime Hydropower Project in Papua New Guinea, following the completion of the pre-feasibility study in 2014, and feasibility study and environmental social impact assessment in 2017.

Located in Papua New Guinea’s Morobe province, the hydropower plant will involve the construction of a low-height diversion weir, a 5km-long headrace pipeline, a surge tank, a 3km-long penstock, and a power station containing two 5.7MW Pelton turbines. With a net head of 415m (head being the height difference between where the water enters and where it leaves), the hydropower plant will have an installed capacity of 11.4MW and produce 80GWh of energy per year.

These successive wins are a stamp of confidence for the team which had worked on PNG Forest Product’s 9.4MW Upper Baiune Hydropower Project between 2007 and 2010. The Upper Baiune Hydropower station has started operating since 2012. With this win, SMEC has built up a presence in the hydropower generation space in Papua New Guinea.

Surbana Jurong wins again with feasibility study contract for extension of Sarawak’s Bakun hydropower plant

Bakun dam power plant malaysia Bakun power station
A bird’s eye view of the power station in Sarawak with the proposed extension.

SMEC’s Hydropower & Dams Group has been awarded Sarawak Energy’s contract to conduct the feasibility study and tender design for an extension of Bakun Power Station.

Following the completion of the pre-feasibility study last year, SMEC, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, was appointed again for this project to provide an in-depth analysis on the possibility of increasing the existing hydropower scheme capacity, without interrupting the operation of the existing power plant and without drawing down the reservoir level.

In the pre-feasibility report, it was suggested that a 300MW extension was possible by constructing a 1.2km-long, 8.5m-diameter headrace tunnel through the dam’s right abutment to a new underground power station. The new power station will have a single 300MW generator unit that will utilise the redundant 12m-diameter diversion tunnels of the existing scheme as the new tailrace.

SMEC’s project team will review the pre-feasibility study and confirm the development option for the extension. Other services to be provided include a Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) study, concept study report, basis of design for civil, electrical and mechanical aspects, tender design report, tender specification and drawings, training of client personnel and generic specification for SCADA, communications, controls and protection.

The project win is due to the team’s familiarity with the geological site conditions and ability to field a project team consisting mainly of engineers who have previously worked on the existing 2,400MW Bakun Power Station or other hydropower projects in Sarawak.