KUCHING, Aug 25: Sarawak Energy Bhd is investing significantly to improve electricity connectivity and reliability in the northern region including in Sarawak’s second largest city, Miri.
The corporation is focused on distribution projects to add more supply injection points together with the laying and upgrading of additional cables to extend the supply circuits or lines.
This is in line with the Ministry of Utilities’ strategic plan to progress projects and reinforcement works to further modernise the electricity supply system for Sarawak’s developing northern region and beyond.
The reinforcement works will cater to growing demand and enhance supply reliability as areas from Miri up to Lawas continue to expand with new townships, businesses and residential areas.
“Despite setbacks caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic, we are continuing with our efforts to modernise the current electrical system in urban areas and outskirts of northern Sarawak.
“Development and rural-urban migration for more opportunities in the city and towns have escalated demand requiring reinforcements to the supply sytem. My ministry and Sarawak Energy are expediting works for a more modern and reliable electrical system in our northern region. Milestone projects for Miri, Limbang and Lawas have been completed and we will continue this effort,” Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom revealed in a press statement today.
At the same time, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili pointed out that there is consistent and continuous efforts to ensure Sarawak Energy provides full electricity coverage for the Northern Region.
“As we work on transmission projects to connect Limbang and Lawas to our main electrical grid, our team is also enhancing and reinforcing the electrical distribution system in Miri, Limbang and Lawas. These these include new distribution infrastructure.
“We are building distribution substations, installing equipment and laying additional cables to deliver a reliable supply of generated electricity to our northern customers once our ongoing transmission projects are complete and come online. These reinforcement works are being done in phases and we will continue to keep our customers updated on the progress,” Sharbini added.
He also assured customers that there were measures in place to minimise interruptions and ensure quick restoration during outages.
“As these projects progress, we have put in place contingency measures with a dedicated team to oversee the smooth performance of our supply system. The team is on standby to restore supply safely in the shortest time possible should an interruption occur. We thank our customers in Miri and the north regions for their patience.”
For Miri, the new Eastwood 132kV and 33kV substations worth RM65 million in total benefit around 15,000 customers residing in Miri town, the marina and its surroundings. In addition, the facilities cater to the development at Eastwood Valley with excess power being used for regional load growth.
This year, 33kV supply lines are being installed to link the Eastwood substation to the Marina 33kV substation and this will divert supply load at Marina, Luak and Town 33kV susbtations. Works will commence in the fourth quarter of 2020 and cost RM13 million.
Meanwhile, new 33kV underground supply lines will be laid to provide double circuits linking the new Tudan substation to the new Piasau substation to benefit more than 7,000 households in Piasau and its surrounding areas. This project costs RM18 million and is also scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The new Miri Town 33kV substation, an extension of the existing substation, was also successfully commissioned in January this year. The new indoor substation is critical for stabilising the supply system of Miri’s central business district and surrounding areas.
At Niah and Bekenu, the immediate action plan this year includes installing a voltage regulator to boost supply from Similajau Substation while awaiting the completion of a 33kV Batu Niah Substation which is expected to come online in 2021. Supply to the area will be further strengthened with an additional injection point from Kpg Iran to Sepupok and this will be ready by mid-2021. For now the team is installing a 5 MVA 33/11kV transformer at Sepupok junction which is expected to be commissioned in September 2020.
For Marudi, a new 33kV substation is being considered to serve as an additional injection point to the riverine settlement. In the meantime, Sarawak Energy will work to upgrade the existing supply lines with periodic maintainance to minimise risk of supply interruption.
Currently at Lawas, a new supply source is being introduced from Pulau Salam 33kV substation to improve reliability to more than 800 customers at the Trusan area. This will shorten the duration of an interruption if any by enabling efficient switching between the supply sources. The project is expected to complete by September 2020.
Last year, Sarawak Energy completed the Loagan Salam 33/11kV substation that provides an additional source of supply to Trusan to support the existing main distribution substation.
Additional 33kV overhead supply lines will also be installed to improve electricity reliability to the Sundar area. The project will cater to more than 1,000 customers and is expected to be completed at the end of 2020. This complements the existing supply lines which have been upgraded from 11kV to 33kV to enhance voltage supply from Pulau Salam 33kV substation to Sundar. The upgrading of supply lines addresses the issue of overloading in the area especially during the hot season and festivities.
Whereas for Limbang, supply lines between Batu Biah substation and the Market substation are being upgraded and a backup for the Pandaruan supply line will be installed by 2021. This will help stabilise supply to SMK Limbang, SMKA Limbang, Pahlawan village and other villages leading to the Pandaruan Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) complex. — DayakDaily