Another Substation Vandalised in Bintulu

Copper Thief Causes 3-hour outage at Sg Nyigu

BINTULU, 21st March 2017, TUESDAY: A copper theft incident targeting SESCO’s 11kV brick wall substation occurred at 6pm last Saturday, causing a power outage affecting light industries and warehouses along Sg. Nyigu Road. This is the latest in a series of copper theft incidents that have caused power interruptions in Bintulu, inconveniencing customers and affecting households and businesses. 

SESCO Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lau Kim Swee (刘金瑞) said, “There have been quite a number of copper theft cases recently, targeting SESCO’s facilities and disrupting power supply, causing inconvenience to customers. The thieves are getting daring and are changing their modus operandi as they know we are doing night patrol. We will step up security measures and continue to work closely with the Police to curb this crime.”

In this incident, SESCO’s standby team had gone to the substation to attend to a complaint on high voltage in the area. They encountered a thief who was cutting the transformer’s secondary copper cable who fled after a brief struggle, leaving behind tools and some earthing conductors which had been cut off.  Repair works took place immediately to replace the vandalised copper and supply was restored to the customers within three hours. A police report has been lodged.

An incident at the UPM 33kV substation in January affected supply to about 2,500 customers.  In February, three cases were recorded at Nyabau 3, Jasa Putra Jaya and Pearl Garden substations affecting supply to more than 200 customers.

 “We will continue to stress how dangerous this criminal activity can be. The thieves persist in risking their lives by breaking into our substations and stealing parts of our highly charged equipment.  In addition to causing equipment failure, power outages and electrocution, copper theft can also cause unstable voltage, damaging customers' electrical appliances,” said Lau.

Since 2015, there have been 404 cases of copper theft targeted at SESCO electrical facilities. The company has incurred more than RM 4.7 million to replace stolen and damaged equipment in the last two years. While efforts have been stepped up in terms of security and monitoring, SESCO continues to seek the cooperation of members of the public to report incidents of copper theft or suspicious activities around its facilities.

Concerned citizens may contact SESCO via the Sarawak Energy Customer Care Centre at 1-300-88-3111. Reports can also be logged into Sarawak Energy’s “SEB Cares” Mobile App, available for download at Apple’s App Store for iOS and Google’s Play.

Vandalised transformer low voltage cable box

Tools used by the thief and cut off earthing conductors left at site.

Half cut cables left behind by the thief