Sarawak Energy Reveals Investigation Result Of Saturday's Power Outage

Transmission lines Across Tatau River Damaged

Emergency repair works to be undertaken  

KUCHING, 26th JANUARY 2016, TUESDAY: Preliminary results from Sarawak Energy’s technical investigation indicate that last Saturday’s outage was probably caused by the high impact collision of an object with transmission lines located across the Tatau River.

Following the outage, the exact location of the damage to the Kemena-Selangau 275kV transmission was pinpointed through a distance protection relay device. Immediate site inspection discovered severed wire strands (conductors) on the transmission line, indicating a physical structure had pulled, scratched and subsequently damaged the lines.

Sarawak Energy has mobilised its team to prepare for emergency repair and is in the midst of a closer inspection of the affected lines by deploying drones to gather more visual information.

Lu Yew Hung, Executive Vice President of Sarawak Energy and Chief Executive Officer of SESCO said, “It is possible that a barge passing underneath had not lowered its crane boom, and may have damaged the overhead lines while navigating underneath.”

It was high tide at the time of the outage, increasing the possibility that a very tall un-lowered crane boom may have knocked into the conductors. The transmission lines are at a height which meets the regulatory requirements.

According to Mr. Lu, there will be some risk of tripping when the line is shut-down for repair as the remaining line will be highly loaded.  The risk of outage will be managed by placing the technical teams on high alert at strategic locations.  

“Our team remains vigilant and will work to restore supply within the shortest possible time, should there be an outage,” he added.

He requested for the understanding of members of the public as Sarawak Energy’s technical team work to repair the fault and restore stability of supply.  

He reiterated Sarawak Energy’s focus was to complete the critical parts of the 500kV Backbone Transmission project in the second quarter of 2016 to enhance reliability of power supply across the state.  With a second Transmission Backbone, Sarawak Energy will be able to continue to transmit electricity from power plants located in northern Sarawak to the south in the event a double circuit trip occurs.

The most vulnerable sections of the current 275kV State Grid will continue to be monitored closely by increasing patrols and line checks.


Drone images of damaged wires (conductors) on the transmission lines across the Tatau River.