Educational trip for Curtin Sarawak students

MIRI: Curtin University Sarawak (Curtin Sarawak) recently organised a study tour to Sakura Ferroalloys and the Murum Dam to enable its students to learn more about power generation from hydro power plants and power transmission to the energy-intensive industrial sector.

The tour benefitted 19 students from the universitys Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Accompanying them were senior lecturers Dr Garenth Lim King Hann and Dr Hendra Gunawan Harno.

The visits were organised by the universitys Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Student Branch.

At Sakura Ferroalloys, located within the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu, they were briefed by Human Resource manager Azid Allan on the plants operations and its energy demands to produce high-carbon-ferro-manganese and silica-manganese products.

They also toured the plants power substation where they learned about its huge transformers, power protection, controller and switchgears.

The group spent the night at Uma Bawang a Kayan longhouse at Sungai Koyan in Sungai Asap, Belaga, a resettlement area developed under the Bakun Resettlement Scheme.

There they learned from the villagers how the dams development has impacted the community.

The following day, they visited Murum hydroelectric dam where they were welcomed by Hydro Generation Support senior manager Tay Chang Seng. There they learned how the powerful flow of water through the dams turbines is used to generate electricity.

The Murum Dam, a roller-capacity concrete dam with a height of 141 metres, is the second hydroelectric project developed by Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB). Its four turbine generating units are capable of generating up to 944 megawatts of electricity.

Student Sim Zee Ang said the visit helped him learn about the responsibilities of lawmakers, developers and engineers in addressing environmental concerns and the wellbeing of the local inhabitants when developing the dam.

Meanwhile, Dr Hendra commented that the students were able to gain useful insights into the current hydroelectric power projects in Sarawak and potential of renewable energy systems in the states development.

He added Curtin Sarawak was the first institution of higher learning to have organised a site visit for students to the Murum Dam and hydropower station following its commissioning.

The IEEE Student Branch of Curtin Sarawak aims to inspire engineering students to achieve their full potential in line with IEEEs motto To FosterTechnological InnovationandExcellencefor theBenefit of Humanity.

It regularly organises site visits, technical talks, competitions and social activities for its members.