Strictly no open burning near Sarawak Energy power facilities

A file photo of the open burning near the 275kV Mambong-Engkilili transmission line in Simunjan that caused power interruptions to some part of Kuching in August last year.

KUCHING, Aug 14: The current dry spell being experienced in Sarawak and seasonal open burning activities are increasing bush fire incidents, putting electrical facilities at risk and jeopardising public safety.

Sarawak Energy, in a media release, called for public cooperation not to carry out open burning activities near power facilities such as transmission tower and lines, power poles, overhead lines, substations and other related facilities.

These activities can compromise the safety of workers and nearby communities, as well as the facilities and affect power supply reliability.

Sarawak Energy utility arm, Syarikat Sesco Bhd chief executive officer Lau Kim Swee warned that extensive damage to critical facilities such as transmission lines and substations can cause prolonged power interruptions.

A file photo of firefighters controlling the fire from spreading to the Kapit 132kV Substation also in August last year.

“We are monitoring the occurrences of bush fire incidents near our facilities very closely in view of the current dry spell. It is worrying that this month alone, there have been more than 200 hotspots identified throughout Sarawak.

“We are also working together with the relevant agencies to ensure the facilities are safe and electricity supply is not compromised,” he said.

“We do not want to have another incident that jeopardises the safety of the facility and causes loss of supply like the incidents in Kapit and Simunjan last year.”

A file photo of bush fires along the Similajau-Marudi junction 275kV Transmission Lines led to a power trip on April last year.

In August last year, a bush fire underneath the 275kV Mambong-Engkilili transmission line in Simunjan affected supply to Kuching. That same dry month, a bush fire almost reached the Kapit 132kV Substation before being brought under control by firefighters.

Members of the public who spot open burning activities and bush fires are asked to report the incident to the relevant authorities immediately before the situation worsens.

The public can also call Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1300 88 3111 for incidents near its electrical facilities. — DayakDaily