Bakun Dam Panorama, Malaysia

The Bakun Dam is an embankment dam located in Sarawak, Malaysia, on the Balui River, a tributary or source of the Rajang River and some sixty kilometres west of Belaga. As part of the project, the second tallest concrete-faced rockfill dam in the world would be built. It is planned to generate 2,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity once completed.

The purpose for the dam was to meet growing demand for electricity. However, most of this demand is said to lie in Peninsular Malaysia and not East Malaysia, where the dam is located. Even in Peninsular Malaysia, however, there is an oversupply of electricity, with Tenaga Nasional Berhad being locked into unfavourable purchasing agreements with Independent Power Producers. The original idea was to have 30% of the generated capacity consumed in East Malaysia and the rest sent to Peninsular Malaysia. This plan envisioned 730 km of overhead HVDC transmission lines in East Malaysia, 670 km of undersea HVDC cable and 300 km of HVDC transmission line in Peninsular Malaysia.

Future plans for the dam include connecting it to an envisioned Trans-Borneo Power Grid Interconnection, which would be a grid to supply power to Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, and Kalimantan (Indonesia). There have been mentions of this grid made within ASEAN meetings but no actions have been taken by any party. Bakun Dam came online on 6 August 2011. As of 2015, Bakun Dam is the biggest dam in Southeast Asia.

On 16 August 2017, Sarawak Energy completes acquisition of Bakun HEP from Federal Government. Under the deal, the Sarawak government will pay Putrajaya RM2.5 billion and take over the remaining RM6.4 billion remaining debts. Prime Minister Najib Razak handed over the dam to the Sarawak government on 5 April 2018.


Panoramas of the 200 most prominent Malaysia Points of Interest