BETONG: Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) marked another significant project milestone in its ongoing effort to provide a modern and reliable supply system when it safely completed and commissioned the Serudit 275kV/132kV/33kV substations here last Sunday.
The new RM165 million facilities are expected to benefit around 28,000 customers in the division covering the districts of Betong, Saratok, Pusa and Kabong and sub-districts Debak and Spaoh.
The new facilities will improve supply reliability in the area, serving as a vital interface between the transmission system and the distribution networks.
Betong division was previously supplied by 33kV power lines stretching 45 km from the nearest substation at Engkilili. The long distance power lines made them susceptible to external disturbances and supply interruptions.
According to records, the major causes of disturbances in the area were overgrown vegetation, land clearing and tree felling activities by residents, wildlife intrusion and lightnings.
Ongoing construction work on the Pan Borneo Highway project has also contributed to supply disturbances. Among the causes of power interruptions were excavation works damaging facilities like underground cables and broken poles and overhead lines being struck by machinery.
The newly commissioned substations at the higher injection voltage of 275kV with step down to 132kV and 33kV will provide for an improved supply system to Betong Division by shortening the distribution supply lines and reducing the risk of supply interruptions from external disturbances.
SEB executive vice president for project delivery, Pramod Kumar Karunakaran said the successful commissioning of the Serudit substations was made possible because of the close cooperation between SEB, State Planning Authority, Resident and District Offices and the local residents.
“The new injection points will reinforce the 33kV distribution system for Betong, Pusa, Saratok and Kabong and their respective sub-districts and serve as a future 132kV injection point to Sri Aman. It will also provide for future 132kV regional grid connection linking Lachau, Sri Aman, Serudit, Saratok and up to Sarikei.
“We encountered some delays due to land and wayleave issues affecting the transmission line turn-in works for connecting to the substations. This was resolved with the support of the State Planning Authority and Land & Survey, following which construction works were able to progress,“ he added.
Pramod said the Serudit supply reinforcement project was a great achievement as the substations and the line turn-in works were without any lost time incident or quality issues.
Lau Kim Swee, chief executive officer of Syarikat Sesco Berhad, the utility arm of SEB, said, “We will continue to prioritise efforts to improve reliability of electricity supply by investing substantially in new installations that will reinforce the system. Our main priority is to keep the lights on and we do so by improving the supply system in both the urban as well as the rural areas.
“The new facilities at Serudit enable operational efficiency and allow us to meet the current and future demand created by growth and development in these districts. In addition to these newly commissioned substations, line projects estimated to cost around RM200 million are being executed to create additional circuits in the area to further improve the reliability of the supply system.”
The connection works for these line projects will be carried out in two stages, with the first stage from Nov 23 to Dec 1 and the second stage from Dec 14 to 22. During those times, one of the two transmission lines will be de-energised but this should not affect supply to customers.
Nevertheless as a precautionary measure in case of a trip along the single energised line, SEB will despatch its technical team and mobile generators are on standby at strategic locations to speed up response and restoration time when needed. In the event of bad weather, works may be postponed for safety reasons.
The public is advised to contact Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or utilise Sarawak Energy mobile app ‘SEB cares’ which can be downloaded from Google Play Store as well as the iOS’ App Store, for any inquiries or to obtain the latest updates of the connecting works and to report any outages to assist in speedy restoration of electricity supply.