Malaysian developer Sarawak Energy has received formal approval from the Sarawak state government for its 1,285-MW Baleh hydroelectric plant.
The go-ahead comes after the state approved Baleh's social and environmental impact assessment reports last year, according to Sarawak Energy CEO Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit, and will allow work on the first of eight construction packages to begin by the end of this year.
The plant is to be located on the Baleh River about 95 km from its confluence with the Rajang River and will not require any resettlement.
Sarawak Energy said it anticipates about 3,500 jobs to be created during the project's construction phase -- many of which the company hopes to fill through partnership with local technical institutions and other educational initiatives in the Kapit region.
"Participation from local contractors will result in management, technology and knowledge transfer from our international contractors to build up the local capacity and capability so they can prepare for future opportunities locally and abroad," Torstein said.
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