Copper Thefts Targeting Electrical Facilities Getting More Rampant In Bintulu And Miri

Sarawak Energy is concerns over public safety and inconvenience caused to customers

KUCHING, 4th JUNE 2017, SUNDAY: Sarawak Energy is concerned over the rampant incidents of copper theft especially in the Northern Region targeting its facilities, causing not only supply interruptions to customers, but also affecting the street lights and telecommunication services.

According to Sarawak Energy’s Vice President for Distribution, Hajah SitiAisah Adenan, thieves are getting more daring, vandalising electrical equipment in broad daylight especially at secluded areas.  Recent cases show that copper theft involving electrical transformers are on the rise where they ransacked the equipment for the transformer’s core, copper conductors and underground cable.

In Bintulu alone, for the past two months, there have been 13 cases of vandalised transformers along the Bintulu-Miri coastal road, Bakun Road, and also in Sebauh and Tatau areas which incurred a cost of RM390,000 to replace the damaged equipment.

Similar trend is also happening in Miri.  Latest incident was along Lutong-Kuala Baram road affecting two pole-mounted transformers.  The transformers vandalised were supplying for customers within the Kuala Baram area and the street lights along Kuala Baram road to the Asean Bridge.  This irresponsible act has compromised the safety of road users as the stretch of about 8km street lighting columns along the road leading to Kuala Baram are without light at night.

Another incident targeting electrical transformers occurred a day before Gawai, causing supply interruption to Batu Niah and Bekenu.  The two recent incidents in Miri happened within a week and is estimated to have incurred a cost of RM120,000 to replace the equipment and repair the damages.

“Sarawak Energy has increased the patrols and managed to foil two attempts in Bintulu and another two cases of attempted vandalism in Miri.  Our regional teams are also working closely with the police to curb this dangerous crime.

“Public safety is Sarawak Energy’s utmost priority.  In the recent incidents, the thieves’ modus operandi are using vehicles to pull down the pole mounted transformers before dismantling the core and copper inside the equipment. This is not only endangering their safety, but also the safety of road users,” said Hajah Siti Aisah.

Since 2015, there have been about 429 cases of copper theft targeted at Sarawak Energy’s electrical facilities. The company has incurred more than RM 5.2million to replace stolen and damaged equipment in the last two years.

While efforts have been stepped up in terms of security and monitoring, Sarawak Energy 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 Sarawak Energy via its 24-hour call 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.

What’s left of one of the ransacked transformers.

Vandalised pole pulled for the pole-mounted transformer.

One of the foiled attempts of taking down the transformer