KUCHING, Dec 8, 2015:

Studies on the Baleh hydroelectic dam project concluded that seismic activity risk was insignificant at the project area.

Public Utilities (Water Supply) Assistant Minister Datuk Sylvester Entrie Muran said a geological study revealed that there was no evidence of karstic limestone in the reservoir area and leakage in the reservoir due to cavernous limestone was unlikely.

“These finding reports are available at the Natural Resources and Environment Board’s office, where it is accessible to the public,” said Entrie during the question and answer session at the State Legislative Assembly sitting here today.

In responding to Yap Hoi Liong (DAP-Dudong), Entrie also said the geological study and seismic assessment were conducted in accordance to established guidelines of International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) by Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH Global Malaysia) in association with GHD Group during the feasibility study in 2010.

“The assessment from the said studies was used as the essential basis for the final design of the dam,” Entrie added.

Entrie also told the house that similar studies by SMEC Malaysia during the pre-engineering phase last year where references were also made to studies on Sarawak’s regional seismicity for dams conducted by the Seismology Research Centre of Australia.

The state government has yet to make a final decision on the dam project, which received support from the surrounding community.

This project will also be the first dam where no resettlement was needed, with an estimated cost of RM9 billion and would generate 1,400mw of electricity upon completion.

Concern over the dam integrity in the state was raised following the Ranau earthquake earlier this year, fearing the risk of structural failure.

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