Major hydro complex moves ahead in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation has signed a partnership agreement with an Indonesian partner of PowerChina to develop a hydro complex jointly on the island of Borneo, with an estimated cost of US$17.8 billion.

The Kayan Cascade project will include a series of dams and is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a huge infrastructure programme extending from Asia to Europe. Sumitomo is joining the hydropower project, which is being developed in North Kalimantan province in the Indonesian part of Borneo. It was launched by Kayan Hydro Energy (KHE), which is affiliated to PowerChina. The project will include construction of five dams along the Kayan river with a combined generating capacity of 9 GW, which would make it the largest hydroelectric complex in Southeast Asia if fully completed. Indonesia’s largest hydropower station at the moment, the Cirata plant in West Java province, has a capacity of 1 GW. Preparations have begun on the first dam, Kayan 1, which will have a 900 MW hydro plant. The final dam, Kayan 5, will be the largest, with a planned capacity of 3.3 GW. It is scheduled for completion in 2035.