Land claimant locks up SEB substation in Miri, jeopardising city’s power supply

An SEB maintenance crew couldn't enter the substation for maintenance work because a land claimant padlocked the gate.

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KUCHING, June 22: Sarawak’s power provider Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is warning those obstructing its maintenance work to the Miri Town Substation that their actions might put most parts of Miri city at risk of intermittent power interruptions.

SEB in a statement yesterday said their maintenance crew had been unable to carry out maintenance work to the said substation because the alleged land claimant of the substation location had illegally padlocked the gates to the substation.

“The smooth running of the Miri Town 33/11kV Substation, which has been in operation for over 30 years, is critical for reliability of power supply to the people in the city’s central business district and its surrounding areas. However, businesses and homes in Sarawak’s second largest city are at risk of inadequate power supply as land claimants are obstructing entry into the substation for crucial operations and maintenance work.

“The SEB team is currently unable to carry out work as the land claimants have illegally padlocked the substation gates. Denying the maintenance crew access into the existing substation affects the safe functioning of the substation and increases the risk of supply outage to the people of Miri, potentially affecting the substation’s performance especially during festive occasions when higher peak loads are anticipated,” SEB said.

The energy provider also said police reports have been lodged by its corporate arm Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco) with the third one lodged last week, against the illegal obstruction to the substation.

Close-up photo of the substation’s padlocked gate.

SEB said this lock-out had also halted construction work for the new Miri Town 33kV Indoor Substation, an extension of the current substation which is a crucial component of the overall supply network reinforcement works for Mirians, leading to delays and cost over-runs.

“The new extension is part of SEB’s RM1 billion investment in the Miri Power Supply Reinforcement Plan to upgrade supply system to meet rapid expansion and rising electricity demand of the people of Miri.

“Individuals and organisation should express their point of view in a lawful manner so as not to jeopardise the smooth running of electricity works, inconveniencing the general public,” it said.

SEB pointed out that the blockades and threats were also raising safety and security issues for employees and contractors whose mission was to provide affordable, reliable electricity for the people of Sarawak. — DayakDaily