Sarawak power supplier to sue Pan Borneo Highway contractors for damaging its facilities

Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Energy Berhad’s (SEB) transmission tower found to have been slanted caused by the Pan Borneo highway construction works, September 9, 2018. — Picture courtesy of SEB

KUCHING, Sept 9 — State-owned power supplier Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) is taking the contractors of the Pan Borneo Highway to court over frequent damages to its underground cables and transmission towers, its Group Chief Operating Officer Lu Yew Hung said today.

He said since the beginning of this year, there are 10 cases of contractors damaging electrical facilities, some of which have caused supply interruptions to customers.

“SEB is pursuing the maximum penalties possible under the law on these cases and if necessary, we will use the provision under the Electricity Ordinance that allows us to bring them to court,” Lu said.

He said many contractors have failed to adhere to safety measures when working near electrical facilities and infrastructure.

“The knowledge and safety culture is still very low among third party contractors and this is very alarming, looking at the records on the number of cases affecting electrical facilities,” Lu said.

He said in the latest incident, a 132kV Tudan-Miri Airport transmission tower in Miri was slanted by the Pan Borneo highway construction works.

He said SEB’s transmission team discovered the slanted tower during their routine inspection patrols last Friday and Pan Borneo contractor was instructed to cease works near the tower immediately.

“Preliminary assessment indicates that the failure to the existing tower foundation was due to excessive earth stockpile materials placed near to the tower.

“It is suspected that the pile supporting the tower’s foundation was damaged, compromising the integrity of the supporting system, leading the tower to tilt,” Yu said.

He said SEB’s technical team had installed temporary stabilising stay wires to secure the tower from tilting further.

The Tudan-Miri Airport transmission lines is the main supply injection point to the southern part of Miri, supplying Miri Airport, Lambir, Luak, Taman Tunku and Miri general hospital.

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