Miri City Reinforcement Works To Continue Despite Challenges

Proactive measures to overcome technical issues, cable theft and land-access related project delays

KUCHING, March 27, 2018, Tuesday: Sarawak Energy is in the mid-stages of its RM1 billion Miri Power Supply Reinforcement Plan to upgrade the power system of Sarawak’s second largest city and its surrounding to meet the city’s rapid expansion and increasing electricity demand of its people. This is part of the overall development plan to ensure reliable electricity for all of Sarawak.

As Sarawak Energy continues with the upgrading works in Miri for a much more reliable and resilient system for the city over the next two to three years, the state power utility and energy-development company continues to face challenges which include technical issues and cable theft that may lead to unexpected supply interruptions as well as project delays caused by land-claimants obstructing site entry.

On Sunday evening, a power supply interruption occurred when the Tudan 275/33kV transformers tripped at 6.44pm.  While supply was restored to affected areas in stages, with full restoration achieved within two and a half hours, a large number of customers were inconvenienced in parts of Miri city and nearby suburbs and its outskirts. The utility is investigating the cause of the tripping and has put in place proactive measures to avoid re-occurrence of the incident.

The tripping caused interruption of electricity supply to areas like Permyjaya, Taman Tunku, Luak, parts of Krokop and Piasau and surrounding areas near Miri Airport and Kuala Baram. Other areas affected included Batu Niah, Lambir, Bekenu and Marudi.

However, commissioning of the newly completed 33kV Marudi Junction substation on Monday night will immediately strengthen the voltage and reliability of supply to southern Miri, Lambir, Marudi town, Bekenu town and Batu Niah.

Line 2 has been completed and energised earlier on 12th March without any incident. Therefore, the Marudi Junction 275/33 kV and the turn-in works to Marudi Junction substation have been fully completed and commissioned and it will backup and reinforce the 33kV system in southern Miri in addition to supplying Marudi town, Batu Niah and Bekenu.

Miri city is now supplied via double circuit lines from Marudi Junction substation.

Meanwhile, efforts to strengthen electricity supply for the city’s central business district encountered a roadblock when, the Miri Town 33kV Indoor Substation scheduled for completion by 13th August this year and a critical component of Miri Power Supply Reinforcement Plan, was halted due to land ownership claims at the construction site, keeping the city’s power system at continued risk of major power interruptions.

In addition, localised supply interruptions have also occurred due to theft of copper cables. Sarawak Energy is stepping up monitoring efforts to minimize outages caused by this dangerous crime.

While Sarawak Energy invests in projects that will ultimately deliver secure, reliable power for Sarawak, it is hoped that the public will cooperate to ensure that matters are resolved through the resolution of land claims for crucial projects such as the Miri Town 33kV Indoor Substation and help keep a vigilant eye out against cable theft to ensure the residents of Miri City and nearby districts get the secure, reliable power system they deserve on schedule Miri Power Supply Reinforcement Plan.