SEB to take action against those who start fires near power facilities

Goh Pei Pei

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) will take action against those who start fires or carry out open burning near power facilities.

Sarawak Energy group chief executive officer Sharbini Suhaili said today that such acts were intolerable as fires could cause supply interruptions, and endanger workers and neighbouring communities.

“Extensive damage to critical facilities such as transmission lines and substations can cause prolonged power interruptions,” he said.

“There have been frequent open burning activities and fires near our electrical facilities lately and some have affected operations, compromised safety and resulted in supply disruptions.”

The hot and dry weather has seen an increase in open burning activities near SEB’s electrical facilities.

On Wednesday, opening burning activities near transmission lines at Sabal, Simunjan, caused the 275kV Mambong – Engkilili lines to trip at 3.08pm, causing loss of supply to some parts of Kuching.

“This could have caused a major interruption in Kuching. We are fortunate that, with the protection system in place and our newly commissioned second transmission backbone grid, our technical team managed to minimise the number of affected areas and restore supply within 30 minutes,” said Sharbini.

A similar incident happened on the same day in Sarikei near the Sarikei-Tanjung Manis 132kV transmission tower.

However, swift action by the Fire and Rescue Department prevented the fire from damaging the system.

The Fire and Rescue Department also put out a fire near the Kapit 132/33kV Substation early this month.

“Our operations team is monitoring occurrences of fire near our facilities and we are working closely with the relevant agencies to ensure the facilities are safe and operations are not compromised,” he said.

“We should not tolerate these dangerous acts, and will assist the Natural Resources and Environment Board by monitoring activities near our facilities. We will also not hesitate to report those discovered causing these dangerous fires,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd