Sarawak Energy Urges All Excavation Contractors To Be Extra Cautious

Call Customer Care Centre to Check On Underground Cable Route Before Digging

KUCHING, 22 MAY 2018, Tuesday: Excavation works by third party contractors have damaged underground cables in three instances this month alone, causing major supply interruptions in Kapit, Samarahan and Kuching and affecting thousands of households and businesses.  

Sarawak Energy’s operations and retail arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO) CEO Lau Kim Swee (刘金瑞) reminded contractors to check with the power utility’s Customer Care Centre on underground cable routes before commencing excavation works to avoid damaging power cables.

“Safety is our key priority - at the end of the day, we want to make sure that everybody goes home safely. Please call Sarawak Energy to determine that the area is clear of cable routes before proceeding, and be extra cautious when carrying out excavation works. Do not assume the location or depth of the underground cables – always check the cable route with us. This basic precautionary measure will ensure that it is safe to work, avoid damaging cables and causing power outages,” he said.

“A total of 134 cases of damaged cables due to third party excavation work have been recorded since 2016, with an accumulated amount of more than RM 1million. Sarawak Energy is very concerned about the recurring incidences, despite contractors being constantly reminded to be wary when working close to power installations,” Lau added.

Urging contractors to work closely with Sarawak Energy, Lau said all these incidents could be avoided if proper planning, consultation and precautionary actions were taken. He added that Sarawak Energy staff are visiting construction sites to advise contractors and have also issued several notices and reminders as part of the preventive measures.

In the incident that occurred in Kapit on 1 May, more than 5,500 customers were left without power supply when a 33kV underground cable was struck by an excavator. The severity of the damage to the cable also resulted in recurring power trips to affected areas before power was fully restored.

On 3 May, a similar incident occurred in Entinggan, Samarahan when a 33kV underground cable was damaged by excavation works. It took four hours to repair the damaged cable before power supply was restored.

The most recent case happened on 14 May when excavation work at the Bulatan Kipali construction site in Kuching City damaged an 11kV underground cable and affected some parts of Petra Jaya. Although the problem was rectified quickly, damage to the cable caused another power trip the following day affecting supply to customers in Semarak, SMK Petra Jaya, Taman Sri Wangi, Flat Sri Wangi and Taman Hijrah.

Contractors can contact  Sarawak Energy's technical team at 1300-88-3111 or email at

The excavation work in Entinggan, Samarahan damaged a 33kV underground cable and interrupted supply to the surrounding areas

One of the pictures of damaged underground cables.

Contractors should always check with Sarawak Energy to check on the cable route to ensure the site is safe to work. These basic precautionary measures will avoid damaging the cables and causing power outages to our customers

The advisory notice issued to contractors to be aware when carrying out excavation works