SEB says frequent blackouts will be a thing of the past in Miri

Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Sharbini Suhaili

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KUCHING: Work to improve the reliability of electricity supply in Miri city is progressing well, state utility company Sarawak Energy Berhad, said as concerns grow over the frequent power disruptions in the city.

SEB said a number of major “reinforcement” works, costing almost RM1 billion, have either been completed, ongoing or will be implemented soon to minimise the power outages and cater for the city’s rapid development and expansion.

The power utility company said upgrading of existing infrastructure such as additional feeders and transformers, and replacing ageing equipment and power lines have been progressing well.

They include enhancing the capacity of the Pujut power station in 2015 with the installation of a 33megawatt (Mw) gas turbine and the reconstruction of the Tudan 275kV (kilovolt) sub-station which was completed last month.

The construction of the Marudi junction 275kV sub-station is currently ongoing, SEB said, and so is the construction of a 132kV ring for Miri City encompassing Tudan-Pujut-Eastwood-Marudi Junction-Tudan.

Future projects include the construction of the Bunut-Marudi junction 275kV line project and the Similajau-Bunut 500kV line project, whose tenders are expected to be called soon and the construction of a number of 33kV sub-stations, the power company stated.

Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer, Sharbini Suhaili, described the ongoing work as “critical” for Miri.

“Most of the projects and upgrading work are expected to be completed within the next five years. Upon completion, we expect to strengthen the Miri network significantly,” he said.

Recently, Assistant Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, personally inspected the upgraded Tudan sub-station.

The sub-station is in his constituency of Senadin.

Lee was briefed on the project’s progress and the overall system reinforcement projects for the city.

The Tudan substation, which serves as a major injection point for Miri, provide additional capacity and backup to the city’s supply.

SEB said prior to its reconstruction, the sub-station was “heavily loaded” which made it susceptible to trippings that caused major outages in the city.

Reinforcing the southern part of Miri is also a key focus area due to the current line performance.

Marudi junction transmission substation which is expected to come online by early next year will cater the growing load demand in this part of Miri.

SEB’s Northern Region manager Tan Joo Kok said his operations team had also doubled their initiatives to minimise the risk of unplanned interruptions by increasing line patrols and stepping up maintenance and vegetation management at overhead lines. –