KUCHING, June 10: Sarawak Energy today appeals to Pan Borneo Highway project contractors to always check cable routes with them before doing excavation works to avoid supply interruptions as well as for the safety of the construction workers.
The state’s power generator and distributor lamented that excavation works near the highway’s project sites had caused supply interruptions in many areas. In Selangau alone, ever since the Pan Borneo Highway initiative started last year, there had been 22 excavation related cases.
At about 8am yesterday, a 33kV underground cable at the Selangau-Mukah junction (which forms part of the Pan Borneo construction site) was damaged, leaving more than 500 customers in Jalan Sipiring, Kemena, and Ulu Sungai Arip without supply. Supply was restored at 3pm through the Tatau supply line, while repair works is still ongoing. Due to the extensive damage caused by the excavation, restoration work is estimated to complete only by today.
Sarawak Energy’s operations and retail arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO), is very concerned with the recurring excavation-related outages near such construction sites.
“We sent our technicians to patrol the sites regularly and warned the contractors working near our facilities, and yet outage like this still happened,” said Hung Sing Ee, the acting regional manager for Central Region.
SESCO Sibu regional teams have made numerous engagements with the contractors, issued warnings and imposed penalties, but the situation persisted.
“These unnecessary incidences can be avoided if the contractors check the cable routes with Sarawak Energy first before carrying out their work. Supplying power to our customers is our main priority, but the safety of the contractors working close to our live cables and installations is also a concern,” said SESCO chief executive officer Lau Kim Swee.
“Safety is always a priority in Sarawak Energy, and we do not want anybody to get hurt, including third-party contractors. At the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody goes home safely.”
Lau also advised the contractors to never assume the location or depth of the underground cables and to always check the cable routes to ensure it is safe to work.
Since 2016, Sarawak Energy has recorded 135 cases of third-party excavation works damaging underground cables and other connected facilities. These incidents have incurred more than RM1 million in damages and caused inconveniences to the customers.
Contractors can contact Sarawak Energy’s technical team at 1300-88-3111 or email [email protected] to ensure the safety of their worksites. — DayakDaily