British engineering consulting group Kenneth Grubb Associates Ltd. (KGAL) was awarded a contract worth more US$28.15 million to manage the feasibility and development of multiple small hydroelectric plants in Malaysia's Sabah state.
The contract, which is KGAL's largest to date, was offered by the state's investment arm, Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn. Bhd. (WHSSB), and is expected to last around nine years.
WHSSB, alongside Sabah's economic planning unit and power developer Nova Beta Energy, have identified a number of potential run-of-river sites for projects with less than 30 MW of output capacity. Studies will be carried out on 17 of the sites, possibly adding more than 430 MW to Malaysia's grid.
"The benefits of developing this project are numerous," KGAL said in a release. "It will not only provide a reliable electricity supply to a region with an existing shortfall, but it will also increase local jobs and tourism in the area, improve the region's infrastructure, as well as education, health, agriculture, forestry and fisheries -- not to mention fueling the local economy by providing an income from exporting the power."
The project is intended to support the State of Sabah Government's (SSG) target of achieving "developed" status by 2020. The groups said development of the projects would be in accordance with the International Hydropower Association's Hydropower Sustainability Protocol.
"It is not every day that you have the chance to develop a complete hydro capability and, in doing so, improve people's lives," KGAL managing director Ken Grubb said. "Throughout negotiations, we have been impressed with the determination of the client organizations to find way of delivering sustainable solutions that are in the best interests of the people of Sabah, their heritage and their environment."
Development of all the sites would cost more than $845.2 million.
"I know that the whole team at KGAL is looking forward to the hard work involved and wants to deliver the maximum legacy benefits," Grubb said. "This is an enterprise that we can all be proud of."
HydroWorld.com reported in September that KGAL had installed the first "significant" hydraulic steel structures at the 1,285-MW Xayaburi plant in Laos.
The company is also providing consultant services for the 250-MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in Wales.
For more news from Asia, visit here.