Recent power outages along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway due to third party excavation works

Repair work on the faulty underground cable in progress.

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KUCHING, March 7: Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sarawak Energy) reminded contractors to contact the power utility company before starting any excavation work to avoid any unsafe or outage incidents.

Sarawak Energy Western Regional Manager Choo Min Chong in a press statement today said outages due to excavation work can be avoided if the power utility is well informed prior to any work being carried out.

“Call us before you dig, because there is a high chance of underground cables present at the worksite especially in developed areas. The damage to these underground cables not only leads to outages that may require extensive repair works to restore supply but also poses safety hazards to the contractors.

“At the end of the day, public safety is our top priority and we want everyone to go home safely, including the contractors,” said Choo.

Choo said the contractor involved in the excavation works will be responsible for all of the repair costs.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation on site and will advise the project owner to temporarily issue a stop work notice to the contractor until all the cable routes are identified at the construction areas,” he added.

Recently, three incidents due to excavation works by third party contractors affected customers along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

Investigations over the complaints were mainly traced to excavated 11kV underground cables on Feb 21 and March 3.

Among the areas affected were Nursing Care Resort, Eden On The Park, Central City Shophouse, Centre City Shophouse 2, Central City Park 1, Central City Park 2, Central City Park 3, Central City Park 4, Central City Park 5 and Central City Park 6.

The burnt 11kV underground cable found at the excavation site.

In the same statement, Sarawak Energy said any third-party contractor breaching safety standards when working near live electric cables will be issued with warning letters and stop-work orders.

According to Sarawak Energy, these letters are also copied to the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) under the Ministry of Utilities, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the project owner for further action to ensure the contractors take safety seriously.

“Contractors are urged to comply with the Electricity Ordinance, the Electricity Rules 1999 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 when carrying out works within the vicinity of high-tension cable or other electrical infrastructure to ensure the safety and health of all persons involved.

“Contractors may contact Sarawak Energy’s 24/7 Call Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email to notify on works near electrical infrastructure requiring Sarawak Energy’s technical advice,” it said. — DayakDaily