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The logjam along the Baleh River, August 22, 2022. — Picture courtesy of the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s Office
The logjam along the Baleh River, August 22, 2022. — Picture courtesy of the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s Office

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KUCHING, Aug 22 — Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) today said it is on high alert to assess and manage the potential impact of floating timber debris washed down from upstream by strong river currents and accumulating at the diversion tunnels inlet portal of Baleh dam.

It said the dam river site experienced a sudden inflow of floating timber debris from upstream yesterday at around noon following heavy rainfall.

It said this has impeded safe navigation of the river.

“The combination of dry weather from April to early August, logging activities upstream of Baleh River and the intense rainfall recently appeared to have contributed to the situation,” SEB said in a statement.

“If the situation continues, it will pose a significant risk to the project’s construction and the safety of downstream communities,” it said, adding that it has informed the relevant stakeholders including the authorities on the situation.

SEB said it is closely monitoring the situation at the diversion tunnels inlet portal and is on standby to clear the floating timber debris that may obstruct the water flow into the portal.

“Clearing works will be carried out only when high water levels recede and it is deemed safe to proceed,” it stressed.

It added the Baleh dam is vital for Sarawak’s energy demand and when fully commissioned in 2026, the facility will join the stable of hydropower plants to support Sarawak’s aspiration to become a regional powerhouse of renewable and affordable energy.

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