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Check underground cable route before carrying out works, contractors told

KUCHING (Feb 18): Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) said investigations into recent complaints on frequent power supply interruptions revealed that its underground cables were damaged due to construction works related to the Pan Borneo Highway.

The supply interruptions have affected about 2,500 SEB customers in Bekenu, Batu Niah and surroundings areas in Miri (along Bintulu-Miri Road). 

Hence, SEB is urging third-party contractors to contact the company before starting excavation works to avoid damaging the underground cables and causing unnecessary supply interruptions.

Its utility arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad chief executive officer, Lau Kim Swee said the company was deeply concerned as safety incidents and unplanned supply interruptions continued despite numerous engagements with the relevant third-party contractors on safe work practices near electrical installations along the project route.

“The contractors must check the cable route with us to make sure everything is safe and to follow the guidelines, and not to assume the location or depth of the underground cables,” he said, adding that these basic precautionary measures would avoid many unwanted incidents and keep the lights on for the people.

“This will also ensure the safety of the contractors and their workers. We want everybody to go home safely,” added Lau in a statement.

Urging contractors to work closely with Sarawak Energy, Lau also said that most incidents could have been avoided if the contractors practised proper planning and consultation, and take precautionary measures.

To date, 476 excavation cases causing cable damage have been recorded since 2018, with damages costing about RM3.2 million.

Lau said in January this year alone, 12 cases were recorded, adding that in these cases, Sarawak Energy would issue a warning letter and bill the contractor responsible for the cost of repairing the damage and for revenue loss.

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